On Friday I was lucky enough to join a small group of fellow mountain instructors on a factory tour of the Climbing hardware manufacturer, DMM. The only UK based climbing hardware manufacturer. Climbing equipment has always fascinated me, so I was very excited at the opportunity to see how all that shiny gear, that I use nearly everyday, gets made and tested.
The first thing that you notice is that the entire process of design, proto typing, manufacturing, assembly and testing all takes place in the same place. As the tour progressed it also became apparent just how many processes are involved in making a simple carabiner and the attention to detail required.
Here are a few shots showing some of the processes in making climbing hardware
After seeing all of the manufacturing process it was off to see how they test it all, using their machines of torture to break what they had just so lovingly made.
Reassuringly, every piece tested, including some that had already been marked as rejected items, broke substantially above their stated strength ratings. So, extremely safe climbing equipment is produced.
The final stage of the process is a laser coding machine, giving every piece produced its own individual and unique identification code.
For more information DMM have made their own video giving you the chance to experience the full factory tour.
It was a great day seeing the processes which create the brilliant and strong climbing hardware that we use. Thanks DMM 🙂