Conker Living was formed in 2017, by Jag Virdie, a Chartered Engineer and automotive designer. The company design and engineer a range of luxury spherical outdoor office and living spaces, called The Conker. The first Conker was created in 2015, following the initial concept of a high-specification garden pod. Conker Living’s mission is to change the way buildings are designed and manufactured, by challenging construction practices at their core.
Designed and manufactured in Cheshire, England, The Conker was created through an aspiration to combine solid engineering foundations with beautiful designs. The unique versatile concept means The Conker is a multi-purpose building and can be used as a home office, a glamping facility, a playroom for children, guest accommodation, an audio-visual entertainment space and more.
Recommended to Trelleborg Applied Technologies by an existing customer, Conker Living needed a local manufacturer they could partner and collaborate with, to ensure any tooling created would be of an exceptionally high quality. Conker Living needed a manufacturer with the ability to collaborate, develop and refine tools, to ensure the end result met their high-end aesthetic finish, ultimately providing exceptional tooling.
Conker Living wanted an established tooling manufacturer that they could build a long-term relationship with, who could not only provide new tools but also work to modify the existing tools. Conker Living needed their original tools to be refined to ensure they would provide a quality surface finish to The Conker mouldings. As with all start-up businesses and new product innovations and developments, controlling costs whilst maintaining quality was also important.
Jag Virdie, Owner, Conker Living “Trelleborg is a professional manufacturer with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, that gives me the confidence that the tools I design will be created to the exact specification we require, and at a really high quality. It’s important to me to work with a manufacturer that has a wide range of materials available, to ensure that the finish and quality of any tooling we design is exceptional.”
Consistent reliable service
Working closely with Conker Living, Trelleborg was able to provide a single point of contact for Jag, making communication easy and providing a consistent reliable service. This meant Trelleborg was able to work closely with Conker Living to collaborate and advise on the most suitable materials for the tool designs, ensuring the manufacturing process was fully considered and supported, and the outcome was a consistently high-quality part. Imperfections derived from low quality tooling would simply not be acceptable.
Karen Thirlwell, Technical & Commercial Manager, Trelleborg Applied Technologies “It’s great for us to be able to work with an end user like Conker Living directly. Having the opportunity to work closely with Jag and advise on the tool itself, the various materials available and their suitability for the project, meant we could guarantee the quality of the parts at the end of the process, staying within budget and delivering on time.”
To ensure the tooling was of the best quality, it was important for Trelleborg to engage with all the stakeholders in the manufacturing process. Working directly with the moulding company for Conker Living, Trelleborg were able to highlight potential challenges that may arise during production and offer suggestions to improve the moulding process. Trelleborg identified that by increasing the number of vac-holes in the proposed design, the moulding company would be able to improve their downstream processing, making it quicker and more efficient to create the parts.
Jag Virdie, Owner, Conker Living “Since The Conker was built, we have created some new tooling designs for an alternative space known as The Baby Conker. All of the tools manufactured, worked as expected first time, producing high quality, high finish components within the required tolerances, enabling quick, easy and smooth assembly.”
A sustainable approach
One of Conker Living’s main aims is to ensure The Conker has rock-solid environmental credentials. A key consideration during the design, engineering and construction process is the reduction of waste materials; minimizing wastage both during the manufacturing process and post-construction was important to Conker Living.
Trelleborg was able to support this vision by utilizing all waste materials created during the tooling process.
One of the tools manufactured for The Conker creates a window section, which would have meant a large part of the tooling material would be discarded once the tool had been created, to make way for the window. Working with Conker Living, Trelleborg utilized this material to create other smaller Conker tools including tooling for keyrings and branded items, instead of the material being discarded.
The small amount of waste materials that are created by Trelleborg during the machining process, are either sent to be recycled or given a ‘second-life’ inclusion within another material formulation, furthering the ecocredentials of the whole manufacturing process.
Karen Thirlwell, Technical & Commercial Manager, Trelleborg Applied Technologies “We have an exceptional capability in tooling, with a range of precision CNC milling equipment, to be able to realize high-quality, high-precision tooling. The technical expertise of our engineers is second to none.”