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Charles May is a Materials Consultant with specialisms in product testing, corrosion and materials failure. His association with Karl began over 15 years ago when Charles was materials course director in the school of engineering at the University of Greenwich. Much of the testing for Karl’s diverse range of products was carried out in the laboratories at Greenwich using state-of-the-art machines. On occasion, it has been necessary to design bespoke testing rigs to evaluate less straightforward aspects of performance. For example, an accelerated test to measurethe long-term durability of adhesive bonded glass shower enclosures required the building of a cyclic testing rig that was designed to simulate a 15 year period of wet/dry, hot/cold cycles. (The adhesive bond passed the test!)
Karl leaves no stone unturned in his quest for perfection in his products. His number one priority is always that Kanth products must last four or even five times longer than any other product on the market. Charles has checked almost every aspect of performance during his long association with the business – from fatigue resistance of shower door hinges to staining of aluminium handles, the shear strength of brass brackets to leak testing of shower enclosures, pressure testing of shower valves and their longevity, to wettability of acrylic sheet, and much more.
All this work in development and evaluation has been carried out impartially, and Karl has been very open to the tweaking and refining of individual product components in order to achieve the highest possible quality.
As well as being kept busy by the steady stream of new projects coming out of the Kanth operation, Charles is also a leading light in the Kent Inventors Forum, a body that assists inventors and helps showcase their creations. Among his own ideas are a domestic electric can-crusher, a double-bladed bread knife, and a transparent flexible lawn edging system.
“His number one priority always is that Kanth products must last four or five times longer than any other product on the market.”
It is not surprising that Charles sees a kindred spirit in Karl through their mutual fascination with innovation. However, at his own admission, he does not have quite the same persistence and dedication to drive these ideas beyond the prototype stage!
With a background in metallurgy and a career in the formation of engineers, Charles is appalled at Britain’s decline in status as the ‘workshop of the world’, and deplores the wholesale shift of manufacturing to China.
He believes that Karl should be applauded in his determination to resist the trend, and to act as a beacon for high quality product design engineering and manufacture in the UK.