Our plantation shutters are made in China. We have been working with our manufacturer for over 17 years during which time a mutual understanding has been built up and fundamental changes have been implemented to improve fixing methods, quality and the general usability of a shutter or indeed the hardware. The manufacturer we use is not only the largest worldwide manufacturer supplying shutters all over the world but also in my view they are undoubtedly the best.
Their resources seem to be unlimited and they are totally committed to producing the best shutter in the market and always looking for a way that they can improve the product and hardware. Many smaller companies based in China even admit to trying to replicate their product but without all the quality controls in place it makes their product a false economy which is why we only purchase shutters from the best.
The manufacture process starts from the raw materials. Our manufacturers have formed a joint venture with the Solomon Island Government with the mission for the practice of responsible and sustainable forest management. The forest is 14,330 hectares and is planted with mixed indigenous and exotic commercial species including white teak (Gmelina arborea) which grows well in these conditions.
Once harvested these logs get sent to China and go through several processes like cutting and drying till they eventually become beautiful shutters. All of the other raw materials are carefully sourced from well managed forests and go through rigorous quality control checks before they are considered to be made into a shutter.
The process of manufacturing is unbelievably fantastic. Even after visiting the company at least once a year for the last 14 years it still amazes me how meticulous each section is and the attention to detail every stage has. It is truly jaw dropping and at the end of every manufacture there is a works line that check it before it goes to the next stage.
The process is fairly manual but there is also state-of-the-art accurate machinery which are gauges to tiny tolerances enabling them to make shutter panel after shutter panel to the quality they do.
This is going on as we speak. They are looking for new track designs, new fixing methods, trying other materials or different and better remote controls. If they find something they want to roll out within the market, several months of testing takes place before it is launched in to the market. Because of the scale of the operation they cannot afford to have a product recall on their products.
Testing takes place on hardware for corrosion and strength and also on fading UV factors. What happens to a panel if it is subjected to very hot or cold conditions? Then add a moisture content or not to this, they even test the strength of the cardboard boxes that the shutters are packed in (which are also custom made to fit the panels precisely to lower the risk of transit damage).
In summary, exceptional craftsmanship combined with trouble-free design and engineering equals for long term performance and value.