After one week of installation

New Gema Automatic Powder Coating System

Gema is a company with a long history. Founded in Switzerland in 1897 began life as a high-end metal fabrication business and later specialised in metal ceilings. Gema engineers started experimenting with a revolutionary new technology utilising electrostatics and powder paint; this led to the production of the very first powder application gun. The technology was so fascinating and efficient that they started developing and commercialising powder coating guns. Gema electrostatic division was born! Gema became a stand-alone company in 1982 with the separation of the electrostatic division from the original Gema fabrication business. In 2012 Gema became a part of Graco, an internationally leading supplier of fluid and coatings management solutions in both industrial and domestic applications.

Helmsman decided to update a vital part of the machinery, the paint booth. The old powder paint booth served Helmsman for around 15 years. It was time to upgrade to intelligent, faster and more sustainable technology for metallic powders. Gema supplied the initial floor plan of the new automatic powder coating system. Throughout numerous visits, Gema adjusted the drawings to suit Helmsman factory floor layout and size.

Everything has been smooth sailing. Gema pushed to install within around 14 days as agreed. Thanks to Gema engineers and Helmsman professionals working together to achieve this.

Automatic powder coating system has minimum powder accumulation which, saves powder paint and works efficiently. The intelligent airflow distribution and the powder hoses are automatically cleaned with powerful compressed air blasts when changing colour for our metal locker range.

The control system is extremely easy to use. We now have complete control of the metallic powder painting process repeatability. We can call up pre-set programs directly on the touch screen and quickly make adjustments depending upon specific requirements. Our working environment is a lot cleaner and faster pace which means we can push through more orders. We will be making the most of our new machine!

This business expansion has been supported by New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, through the Business Resilience and Recovery Grant Scheme. The support provided by New Anglia LEP has not only increased our productivity but is helping our local community by providing opportunities for employment and a more sustainable future.

For information about Helmsman lockers and their specification, as well as about cubicles, vanity units and bench seating, call us on 01284 727626 or email 

New Anglia Logo
Helmsman 50 year old lockers

50 years on and still going strong!

Helmsman Originals

Sometimes you just get blindsided by customers and in a good way. You just have to take a step back and say wow. We were recently contacted by a nice lady in Shropshire asking about getting replacement keys for a couple of lockers.

Standard practice on this type of enquiry is getting a few photos so we can identify the type of locking system used. Imagine our surprise – and delight – in opening up the pictures revealing these little beauties still going strong 50 years later.

Everything from the old logo to the fabrication to the patina tells a remarkable story. Intrigued, we went back to the customer and asked more. She bought them from a seller in Powys and we believe they’ve had three owners over the years. The previous owner stored them in a potting shed and had in turn purchased them from a farmer for storing his gun cleaning kits.

The recent addition of some castors has turned them into little storage stools for a warehouse and we think they’re set for another 50 years!

If you have great pictures and a story to share about your Helmsman lockers, feel free to email us at

New Steel-Framed IPS

We’re delighted to announce that in addition to our timber, we’re now also able to offer a zinc-plated wet spec metal IPS frame for projects where concealed services are required in a wet environment.

We can design, supply and install roll-formed galvanised steel for all projects complete with the compatible ‘push pull’ clip or ‘lift’ system. Suitable for both wet and dry areas, each fabrication is bespoke and made to order to ensure a perfect fit with minimal installation saving both time and money.

Contact us now for more information.

IPS Frames Specification Sheet

IPS Panel Frames Specification Sheet
Our Team here at Helmsman

Christmas Holiday Office Closure

Our office in Bury St Edmunds will be closed from Thursday the 24th of December 2020 and will re-open on Monday the 4th of January 2021. Please remember your emails will be answered upon our return.

From all of us at Helmsman Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! We wish you a much better 2021!

Christmas Jumper day at Helmsman

Looking for a new powder coating paint booth

new booth banner

Helmsman Lockers and Cubicles are looking to upgrade 20-year-old paint booths. 

We are looking for a reliable supplier to take this opportunity and send us the best quote for a powder coating paint booth technology. We are interested to see all the necessary information about the product, inclusive benefits and quality images of the product.

All interested suppliers must be from the UK or EU and able to deliver and install the new technology here at Helmsman in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.

Each candidate will be assessed against the Helmsman evaluation sheet, which includes the best value for money, short lead time and inclusive benefits package.

To apply, please send us a quote to with a subject line: New powder coating paint booth application. Deadline for all applications is Monday 28th of December 2020, 5 pm.

For more information, please feel free to call us on 01284 727626.

Z type lockers

Z Lockers

Helmsman Z locker has a unique shape to adapt to small spaces and because of its design, the two compartments can store more items than expected for multiple users. Here at Helmsman our Z lockers are available in a range of sizes, colours and locking systems. High-quality double coat hooks and a coat rail are fitted in the locker. Z Lockers can give your space storage with style. All of our lockers are manufactured in Suffolk, UK.

Check out our specifications below:

Helmsman Z lockers specifications

We are able to manufacture bespoke Z Lockers to your personal specifications. Just let us know what you would like by calling us on 01284 727626 or getting in touch by email

Joe Le Maire fight

Good luck Joe Le Maire in your next fight!!!

We would like to wish our ex-employee Joe Le Maire the very best of luck in his upcoming fight on Saturday night. Joe has stepped in at short notice as one of the original fighters pulled out. He was only recently offered to take the fight but luckily enough has maintained his fitness over the past few weeks.

On Saturday night Joe is fighting in the Roar combat league 16 which is the largest fighters league in the UK.

He has seen his opponent fight a few times before and agrees he is a good fighter. Joe is competing to keep his UK number 2 ranking In the Bantamweight division.  He needs to meet the 52.5kg weight agreed.

Luckily for Joe, he has already won several national titles as a junior.  He has 2 silver medals in Muay Thai world championships as a junior also. To date, he has had 26 professional fights winning 14 and losing just 12.

We are proud to sponsor Joe in his training at Unit 1 Gym and wish him well in his next fight.  From our experience of working with him, he is extremely reliable and has a positive attitude to work. These characteristics work well when it comes to both selling lockers and taking on your component in the ring.

Photo credits by “Jaron Sharples Images

Joe Le Maire in action

Half marathon success for our colleague

Congratulations Margaret on completing Half Marathon.

Our colleague Margaret ran a successful half a marathon yesterday. She has now four under her belt and raised money for many charities. Margaret is pictured below with her teammates before the run in the Foyle Arena. Nice to see our lockers in the background which were fitted by our team a few years ago. Congratulations to her and all the runners contributing to RNIB. Congratulations Margaret!


new look website launch

Helmsman New Look Website Launch

Welcome to Helmsman new look website launch. We are delighted to offer this new design which offers easy navigation menus.  With this comes improved functionality that directs you to the information most relevant to you. It is also fully responsive to mobile devices. This makes it easy to navigate on a wide range of web browsers and portable devices.

Going forward, we will communicate with you regularly through our Company News, LinkedIn and Facebook.


Phone: (+44) 01284 727626