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Adlib turn to Canford for custom metal work

Adlib are one of the UK’s longest established technical production companies which serves the event industry around the world.

From its head office in Liverpool and new facility in Glasgow, Adlib provides sound, lighting and video equipment to buy, hire or install, and whether it’s a stadium tour or the purchase of a single microphone, the team prides itself on providing the highest level of service.

printed panels for Adlib Canford has a long history of supporting Adlib in this fast moving industry, where requirements can change at the drop of a hat. Together, the two companies have developed a collaborative approach to creating solutions which speed-up on-site installations. It is a relationship in which Canford provides strong manufacturing support coupled with of over forty years’ experience.

Adlib also operate a repair shop, which due to increasing demand, recently needed a custom built dummy load test rig. This would be used to ensure the optimum performance of high-power audio amplifiers. Once again, the team turned to Canford for help.

Tom Izett, Adlib Service Engineer explains: “As a repair shop supporting our rental departments and external clients, the repair of professional audio amplifiers is a staple of our day-to-day work. Integral to working on these amplifiers is the ability to test them at realistic levels under various conditions, while monitoring their performance.

Clearly it is not practical to load a large amplifier with loudspeakers and play it at full volume - so some kind of dummy load is called for.

Although the service workshop has had various shop-built dummy loads in the past, expanding workloads coupled with the ever expanding power and channel count of the latest amplifiers meant that it was time to consider a purpose-built, comprehensive and future-proof system. This system needed to fulfil the following requirements:

  • Be capable of testing 4 amplifier channels simultaneously
  • At a range of load impedances
  • With a capacity of several kilowatts per channel
  • And providing comprehensive monitoring facilities
  • Be quick and easy to deploy, and accommodate products from a range of manufacturers

The format chosen was a wheeled 19” rack, into which the load resistors plus all ancillary equipment would be mounted - the heart of the system was to be the control unit, which would provide user controls and metering, as well as housing all monitoring connectors.

This Control Unit would require custom metalwork outside of our in-house capability, for which Canford where the obvious choice.

We knew that the quality would be up to spec, but, in addition, we also knew we could rely on their support and advice throughout the design process.

The finished dummy load system has now been in service for several months and is already proving to be a good investment. We are now able to test any amplifier up to and beyond its normal operating limits, and the ease with which the new system can be applied has markedly improved our workflow.”

Not only did Canford work with Adlib on the initial design and development of the 4U enclosure but also went on to produce the unit at their manufacturing facility on the Isle of Portland, Dorset which incorporates sheet metal, machining, powder coating, laser engraving and assembly.

Erika Dobie, Canford Business Development Manager concludes:  “I’ve worked with the team at Adlib for nearly 10 years. It’s always an interesting visit to see what the guys are up to, the kit they’ve invested in, and look at new ways Canford can support this.
It’s a great relationship which as well as including sales and purchasing staff, it regularly involves direct talks between technical and production teams at both ends. This collaborative approach speeds up the process, it gets the right people talking together and means we’re able to support Adlib with challenging and time critical requirements.”

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