Obsession drives latest purchase for Shot Darts – press release

Picture of Shot Darts Head of Engineering Robbie Donaldson (left) and Managing Director Peter McCormick (right) with the company’s new titanium plating plant.
Shot Darts Head of Engineering Robbie Donaldson (left) and Managing Director Peter McCormick (right) with the company’s new titanium plating plant.

A
new piece of machinery has firmly positioned Shot Darts as a leader in the
international darts industry.

The
titanium plating plant is behind the vibrant colour
coatings on the company’s darts as well as delivering a durable coating that
doesn’t chip and helps keep a dart’s edges and grip intact. It supports the quality
and flair the company is well-known for in international darts circles.

Managing
Director Peter McCormick says the purchase speaks to the company’s obsession
with darts, which goes back almost 50 years to when his father, John McCormick,
took over the business.

“To
the best of my knowledge, we’re the only precision darts manufacturer in the
world to manage the entire manufacturing process in-house. From initial concepts, to packing our beautifully
finished tungsten darts by hand ready for shipment, we get it all done here at
our factory in New Zealand.

“It
gives us complete control, from woah to go. Not just over quality, but also
lead times and consistency of supply.

Mr
McCormick says customer expectations for lead times are getting shorter and
shorter, and he expects bringing the entire process in-house to shorten turnaround
by at least two weeks.

“It
enables us to be more flexible, to respond quicker to customer needs.”

The
company has backed up its investment by hiring a machine operator with a Master’s
Degree in Chemistry, a role Mr McCormick says is expected to have a strong
research and development focus.

“We
want to see what the machine is really capable of. We’re excited about
continuing to push the envelope. And getting our ideas out there, into the
hands of players, faster.”

Head
of Engineering Robbie Donaldson who just marked his 30th year with
Shot Darts, says previously they were more constrained by what contracted
plating companies were willing, and able, to try.

“This
gives us control of our destiny and development. We have the ability to really
explore the possibilities for our colours and coatings.

“Darts
is a hands-on, collision sport. Our darts need to look good and hold their
shape, but there is an art to giving the dart enough protection without taking
away the ability to feel the grip.”

Outside
his work for Shot Darts, Mr Donaldson builds custom firearms for New Zealand
and international competitors and says there are some similarities between the
two sports.

“In
both darts and shooting, you’ve got really passionate people looking for
something new to add to their enjoyment or give them an edge. There is a real
appetite for innovation.

“You
get to the top of the game and they only person you’re really trying to beat is
yourself.”

Much
the same could be said for Shot Darts and its refusal to rest on its laurels.
The new plating machine is a key step forward in the company’s dedication to
doing things in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way, something
Mr McCormick says is becoming increasingly important in some of their key
markets.

“Germany
is a big market for us and there is a growing demand there, from young people
in particular, for products and businesses that demonstrate a commitment to sustainability.”

With
the darts previously travelling as far as China at times for plating, the
emissions generated by flying them there and back is something the company is
happy to see an end to as part of their commitment to doing things more
sustainably.

“We’re
also looking forward to reducing our carbon footprint through the use of
cleaner energy sources in the plating process (renewable energy sources make up
more than 80% of New Zealand’s electricity generation vs. less than 40% in
China).”

Mr
McCormick says the purchase also speaks to the company’s commitment to the
darts industry as it approaches its 50th year in 2020.

“Darts
gets into your blood. We’re here for the long haul.”

www.shotdarts.com

Logo Shot Darts

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