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Factory Visit: Sussex Taps

25 Aug 2022

On our recent visit to Sussex Tap's incredible head office and factory in Melbourne it is clear that the flair for design is deeply rooted in this family business. We were so curious to see the factory behind this incredible brand and it is fair to say we were not disappointed!

 Sussex’s Melbourne head office has recently undergone a large scale renovation. The new working space is a seamless reflection of the brands sleek and modern design and celebrates the rich family history of Sussex. Designed with a focus on natural timbers accented with brass and metal the uniquely Australian design of Sussex is clear – a celebration of natural materials alongside the sleek detailing of modern design.

Images of Sussex's founder Nicolaas Johannes van Putten adorn the office alongside shots of his children in the factory back when Nick was focused on watch and jewellery making. In the 1990s he diversified into tap making, employing 55 staff. Today Sussex is in the capable and caring hands of Nick’s family, Vanessa his daughter and her husband George. For the new Sussex generation customisation and the expression of individual tastes are exciting motivators for continued innovation. Yet while they have an eye to the future, they uphold Nick’s legacy of quality and precision.

Watch the video of Mel, our director being given the grand tour of Sussex with Vanessa!

Upon exploring the Sussex factory is was amazing to see not only the huge scale of this factory but the breadth of design and manufacturing being performed exclusively here in Australia. Vanessa gave us the grand tour- showing us the amazing robots who carry out the careful work of engraving the taps ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ labels, to polishing the tap components prior to finishing. The precision of polishing which the tap components require is integral to the result of the finishing and powder coating at the other end of the manufacturing process. Extremely strict quality control ensures that not even the most minor of dings will get past this step. As Sussex also owns its own forgery in Melbourne, there is almost no wastage. Small components which are slightly flawed, don’t pass quality control or offcuts are melted back down to become taps again.

 Seeing the process behind the components we use in our designs in an integral part in understanding materiality and manufacturing of products. Sussex is a stand out of Australian manufacturing and we cannot wait to see what they do next!

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