Frequently Asked Questions
Is using a Chinese supplier a viable solution for my project?
There has been much written about what companies from the Far East can offer; some of it bad, some of it good and some of it down right mis-leading.
Here at Plunkett Associates we have spent the best part of the last 10 years building productive and professional relationships with our Chinese suppliers. We feel we are in a good position to make discerning choices about when, and crucially, when not to look to the east. As a result we are able to supply parts to our customers of an extremely high standard, on time and within budget wherever they come from.
Managing production and delivery
When supplying from overseas our customers will always deal with a UK company in sterling. There are no import headaches – we handle the shipping, customs, duties and deliver parts straight to your door. You tell us what you want - in English - and we will do the liaison, and manage production and delivery according to your timescales.
Shipping options are becoming more flexible with the development of the ‘New Silk Road,’ a 11,000 km rail route from western China through Russia to Germany. This will provide an option by land that will take roughly 3 weeks to import goods to the UK, as opposed to 6-8 weeks by sea. For larger shipments this will make a substantial difference to shipping costs.
Personal relationship, high quality service
As with our European supply base we know the management and employees of our Far Eastern suppliers well, and over the years have made many personal visits to cement these relationships, inspect facilities and refine working protocols. Our consistent level of turnover means our suppliers are extremely responsive to our needs and we are confident in their ability to produce high quality parts according to your requirements.
However, as always, there is a big BUT…. There are many considerations when dealing with suppliers from a country such as China, with a unique and complex culture very different from our own, which is deeply imbedded into everyday life, including the work ethic.
Business relationships are built formally in China and it can take years to gain trust and respect. However, once this has been formulated the bonds that are formed are extremely professional, strong and mutually beneficial.
Proven track record, on time, within budget
As a result of the time spent with our overseas suppliers, we trust them implicitly and they have manufactured many quality tools and parts for our customers. We have a proven track record of being able to supply from China extremely high standard products, on time and within budget. By dealing through us we pass on all the benefits, with you taking none of the risk.
For those who think this may be an option for your project, please bear in mind Chinese New Year falls around January /February and there will be some disruption to services around this time. However, remember that in China Christmas is not celebrated as we do in the west and so there is a negligible pause in manufacturing during the time that is our traditional UK ‘shutdown’. It is quite possible to send us an order on Christmas Eve and have parts back on your desk when you return in the New Year!
We believe China is a viable option and have no hesitation in recommending their capabilities….BUT only when you deal with someone like us who has been there, done that – and done it again! We know the pitfalls so if in doubt, try using us. Please contact us and we will do our best to help you.
Produces production intent material properties. Injection Moulding is used for development as well as production parts.
Read more expert articles in our FAQ section where we discuss topics on materials, methods and products.
We work with you, taking your information, be it rough sketches, drawings or just ideas, and create designs in Solidworks (3D) suitable for su...
Prototyping & Low Volumes
Today prototyping typically means layer based or additive manufacture. Having pioneered both Stereolithography and Selective Laser Sintering i...
Tooling & Moulding
We manufacture compression and injection mould tooling, designed to match your quantities and timescales. Manufacturing in UK and in China, in...
Make use of our design for manufacture service. We give added value to your project by advancing your design data through technical analysis ...
The good news is for those of you wanting low volume production parts -quantity is no longer such a barrier to accessing the process you want....
Our consultancy services support you and your manufacturing requirements. We undertake: design work, utilising our experience to ensure eco...