This was to illuminate and advertise the Pharmacy services located in a Sainsbury’s superstore. The lighting raft was to meet certain requirements. It would need to be suspended from cables, to have a good commercial external powder coated finish on the structure as it will be clearly visible from all sides when hung above the Pharmacy. All fixings were to be hidden with easy access for installation and maintenance of the electrical lighting system. The lighting raft was also required to be transported and fitted on-site in sections.

We wanted to manufacture the lighting raft from mild steel sheet, but…

Our team of engineers would ideally have liked to manufacture the lighting raft from mild steel sheet as is easer to work with and gives freedom to create unique prototypes without too many constraints. We calculated the projected weight of the lighting raft using steel sheet materials and found that the unit would be far too heavy for the project. After further discussions with the client we made the decision to use aluminium sheet.

This however brought new problems with the corner modules of the lighting raft. These had to be constructed by TIG welding aluminium rolled strips to the flat laser cut profiles to form a curved section top and a curved section bottom, using thicker gauge materials on the corners only. The pressed up straight modules were constructed by a top and bottom section using thinner gauge material to keep the overall weight to a minimum



Our team agreed that we should keep the welding to a minimum on the bottom and side faces as this could cause distortion which would be seen as blemishes on the finished painted surfaces. Once all of the sections were manufactured they were assembled into modules by riveting together, the rivets would be hidden from view by the lighting strip that would be fixed into position on site by an electrician. The module sections were then powder coated in our powder coating factory, labelled up for ease of assembly and finally packed onto pallets for despatch.

The finished result…

When assembled and positioned in store we had created an aesthetically pleasing focal point above the Pharmacy counter that attracts the attention of the customer when entering the supermarket.