Our modular aluminium profile based machine building system is currently helping Zen, the British golf innovator and exporter. Not only are we supplying framing and components for the unique artificial putting platform, we are also providing a cost reducing logistics service that enables large framing components to be sourced close to Zen’s international customer base.
Zen is all about putting – from coaching golfers to supplying novel equipment. Its latest product development – to improve the performance of the ‘Zen Green Stage’ artificial putting platform – involved replacing its prototype frame with MiniTec profile system profiles and corner connectors to provide increased stiffness and reduced weight for the 4.8m long x 1.8m wide structure.
The user-adjustable platform allows golf enthusiasts and professionals to perfect their green reading and putting technique by setting the vertical height of each corner using electric jacks operated using wireless controls. In this way the compound angles created on the artificial green can be adjusted to consistently simulate different slopes and replicate where the green will ‘break’.
The structure uses 45 mm x 135 mm MiniTec profile rails with twin beams running the length of the structure and cross members connected via flexible angle brackets. These allow vertical flexure but assure high rigidity and stiffness in the horizontal plane. The platform, which has two regulation hole cups, can be fitted with different grades of artificial turf to simulate the varying conditions and ‘stimp speed’ of greens encountered on world championship golf courses.
Cost Saving Logistics
Whilst the relatively light weight and durability of the MiniTec structural components allows easy disassembly and reassembly local to the installation, Zen recognised that global sales of the large platform might be hindered by shipping costs from its UK production facility to international distributors and customers.
The solution centred on finding a machine framing supplier that could fulfil a ‘globally-local’ service. This was solved during consultation with MiniTec – with subsidiaries and sales partners across five continents and a support system that was already proven to provide components and complete framing systems for world-wide industrial manufacturers, retailing groups and commercial logistics companies.
Zen’s Andy McCague said,
We looked into aluminium profiles to replace the prototype materials for our market-ready range of putting greens. MiniTec was the only system that had the size and strength that fitted our requirements and allowed us the ability to offer our product all over the world by shipping heavy parts from local divisions without increasing our costs. The support services and rapid attendance we received from MiniTec during the proving stage was also essential which enabled us to meet delivery ahead of our program”