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MiniTec UK helps bring a smile for PictureBlast party photo booth service

02 August 2010

The abundant possibilities for MiniTec Profile System machine building and framing systems occasionally suit some 'off-the-wall' applications arising due to the sheer adaptability the range offers .

A recent example is the design and supply of portable photo booths for Coventry based PictureBlast, whose distinctive photo equipment hire service provides a fun element and a wow factor for all types of events such as wedding receptions, exhibitions, corporate launch promotions as well as company and individual party celebrations.

A PictureBlast photo booth is similar in concept to the high street shop/passport photo variety except that the booth is larger, looks much more exciting and is assembled at the venue for the exclusive use of guests with free instantly printed souvenir photos and website downloadable images available after the event. With a mixture of imagination and decorum being the pre-requisites for memories of the occasion – they even include a blast of hair-raising air to make the pictures even more interesting.

PictureBlast is run by Paul Entwistle who started the business in 2008 and has now notched up more than 200 events, many for major organisations such as Starbucks, River Island and HSBC. Having researched the market thoroughly and found that most of his competitors booths were just too lightweight for the job in hand, Entwistle preferred his own design at the outset and commissioned local suppliers for fabricated wooden and metal framed variants with canvas panels.

These booths are still being used today but the latest design using MiniTec framing components, the SuperBooth was borne out of a need to add an even smarter and more aesthetic element to the construction to attract new corporate clients. Other important specifications included seriously speeding the on-site assembly and break down time whilst maintaining a lightweight yet robust structure suitable for up to 8 people to use at a time (think of two thirds of a rugby team on a stag night and you get an idea of just how durable the design needed to be).

There was also a requirement to ensure that the construction was entirely from standard and easily replaced parts on fast delivery times as existing custom fabricated designs had proven a problem in the event of damage caused by 'over enthusiastic' participants. Furthermore the design required provision for a built-in seating area and should include stage lighting within the booth to help improve both the comfort for guests and the final image quality - which in turn helps tremendously with overall customer satisfaction.

Initially, Entwistle gave MiniTec applications engineers an outline of his requirements by telephone in which he interpreted the design as 'standard parts with bespoke looks'. As the job was urgent, due to an impending event that would benefit from the new booth, he visited MiniTecs' Basingstoke factory the following day where a ProfileSystem mock up was ready and awaiting his inspection. This fast service was made possible by the adaptable nature of the ProfileSystem and its unique Powerlock® fastening system that allows rapid assembly with no pre-machining of the profile other than simply cutting each frame member to its required length. Unlike competitive extruded framing systems there is no need to drill and prepare each individual joint as a simple 8 mm Allen Key is all that is required.

During the visit it was demonstrated that assembly time for the new booth would be much faster. In fact the final design reduces assembly and breakdown time by at least 50% which is seen as a real cost saving. The final unit was delivered within a week of the visit.

The site visit also revealed that a combination of acrylic plastic panels for the walls would make the final design even more durable and together with the anodised finish on the framing components, would allow the more 'classier' look and feel that PictureBlast required. The provision for panels could also extend to exhibition style panelling using PictureBlasts' own graphics expertise for corporate livery or other artwork relevant for the event.

The final design size included ProfileSystem in a nominal sectional size of 45 mm2 with an overall volume of around 1.8 m length x 1.2 m width and a height of almost 2.0 m. To protect the expensive camera system, a reinforced double panel arrangement was suggested at the 'technology end' of the booth using 45 mm x 90 mm profile. The adaptable 'T' slot system could easily accommodate the stage lighting and an optional seating platform could be quickly built into the booth if required. In addition, numerous standard fixings were supplied in case of accidental loss.

The SuperBooth is packed into four storage crates for straightforward transportation to each venue and takes less than 30 minutes to assemble and even less to break down. The design also allows for easy adaptation for a larger, increased length SuperBooth should the need arise (perhaps for the whole rugby team!). PictureBlast are also thinking of a similar sized design that might break down into even smaller sections to aid carrying to venues with more challenging access - all is possible with ProfileSystem.

Well impressed with the speedy design service and fast delivery, Paul says;

"MiniTec responded so quickly, did exactly what we asked and gave us far more possibilities than we anticipated. The new SuperBooth has already proven its robustness and has opened up new market areas for us including supplying our design to the emerging party booth market throughout Europe and the Middle East - where nothing quite like the MiniTec solution is available."

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