Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits to my production programme by moulding in the UK?

In the past the Far East was utilised as a production solution, almost without question and was a recognised source of a ‘cheap’ manufacturing for many businesses. 

In recent years, the fluctuating economy and uncertainties associated pre and post-Brexit marked the start of a change in attitude towards overseas manufacturing as bit by bit it no longer seems such a financial slam dunk to have production carried out in the Far East.

AutomationUK tooling and moulding has often been categorised as ‘too expensive’ or ‘too slow” however this attitude has started to change in recent years driven by an increasing awareness of environmental issues, travel and shipping issues and a more widespread introduction of automation within UK manufacturing.

Tool costs vary considerably depending on the geometry and quantities being manufactured, however there are ways to address some of these factors or at least mitigate them.

There is no such thing as one size fits all and the ability to tailor the toolmaking/moulding solution to a specific project is an important aspect that is frequently missed in the rush to the Far East.

So, having established that the costs for the tooling can be managed it’s now time to appreciate what you get in addition to cost effective highly skilled tooling and moulding by ‘keeping it local’.

Increased Communication

First off when you are investing in the production of a new product or the continued development of an existing one, we all know the level of communication with your supplier and ease of their availability is vital. 

Trust and a clear understanding of what you are looking for is key when considering what option to pursue. This is so much easier when you are in the same time zone and speak the same language!

Increasing the range of manufacturing options, increases the need for clear communication. We save clients hassle and time by working with a huge range of processes to ensure that the optimum solution is found and that the design addresses the strength of the process, rather than being at odds with it. UK Tooling & Moulding

Saving Time

The ability to handle a large number of tools simultaneously has long been a strength of the Far East. The shear capacity that can be brought to bear on a project is amazing and this frequently results in shorter leadtimes than can be achieved through the UK.

Viewed alone this can be seen as very attractive but starts to diminish as time is allowed for shipping samples back to the UK, the ultimate shipment of the tool (if it is being brought to the UK) and subsequent modifications/trials.

It must also be remembered that the tooling is a one off, whereas the moulding will be ongoing. A shorter more responsive supply chain basically equates to huge time savings as well as reduced inventory costs.

Site visits

Some of our clients choose to visit our facilities particularly in the early stages. The fact that we are well placed just off the M5 makes getting to us easy for onsite trials if clients want to be involved. If a visit is not possible, clients are kept informed of progress every step of the way (with live links if necessary!).

Uk ShippingSupporting Global Sustainability

Awareness of our planet is a big consideration with most companies doing what they can to ‘Go Green’. Avoiding having to ship vast distances means a dramatic reduction in component ‘miles’, all of which helps to support global sustainability, something that is at the forefront of most companies mission statements these days. 

No more exchange rate fluctuations 

It started with the uncertainty of Brexit a couple of years ago and has been compounded by the global pandemic, but the vagaries of exchange rates have had an enormous impact on our want to trade overseas. The blockage of the Suez Canal in recent weeks has only served to highlight again how fragile our shipping routes are. Uncertainty and panic as ever, results in rising costs which are unplanned and not budgeted for and if they can be avoided keep the accounts department a lot happier!

Dealing with us means the quote you get is not going to change because of global events out of your control – simple!

Quantity Flexibility 

Many of our clients love the fact that they can call off smaller stock quantities as opposed to having to plan around a strict 6 week shipping schedule from the Far East. We offer clients the option of us holding stock for them which provides a much more flexible ordering facility and ease of cash flow which again keeps the accounts in order! 

Management Processes Reassurance

We are aware that many clients require their suppliers to be regulated for quality and control purposes. As an ISO 9001:2015 Quality System certified supplier, we have the knowledge and experience to supply the perfect solution for your plastic parts across all quantities. Isn’t it reassuring to know our management system processes are all in place? Uk Moulding

Design Support & Analysis

We believe the added support we offer our clients with their tooling and moulding requirements is second to none. Our specialist design support and the variety and flexibility of tooling and moulding options we are able to offer is key to successful parts and a project delivered on time and in budget.

Plunkett Associates can offer support on Solidworks to generate a design from your concept or interface requirements.

In addition, we regularly use moldflow analysis so that new part designs can be analysed immediately for manufacturability. This includes not just the ability to mould a part, but also the quality of the resulting part, both physically and aesthetically. The advantages of moldflow are many, and the ability to see how a manufacturing process will work before financial outlay has been committed to tooling is priceless. 

Experienced and highly skilled Toolmakers and Moulders

We are pretty confident we are making a difference in being able to respond to clients’ needs and have already established a track record of optimising tooling solutions to meet specific requirements with regards to quantities, geometries and speed.

In addition to making steel tools, our toolmakers are highly skilled at using tooling grade aluminium for lower volume tools, which reduces both cost and manufacturing time for our clients.

Our moulders go above and beyond too - moulding a handful of parts is very different from 100,000 parts but as specialists in low volume quantities, this is something we can help you with as well as higher volume requirements. 

Pro active support and added value

We take great pride in what we do and forming a relationship with our clients we believe is key to a great working outcome. We do our best to go the extra mile and are proactive to help improve both the quality of product and the services we can provide, continually looking ahead with regular conversations about future requirements and how we can support their needs best. Injection moulding

UK manufacturing has really shown what it’s made of over this past year, with many companies, including ourselves, rising to the challenge in the early days of the pandemic and producing vast quantities of PPE equipment which at that point was vital to our NHS and healthcare workers. 

Since then, the want to rely on more local manufacturers by many UK businesses has brought an increased sense of responsibility across the board. We’d like to think we have proven our worth over the years with regards to the quality, responsiveness and reliability of service we provide. So, if you have a production requirement or you are thinking of bringing your manufacturing programme back to the UK, give us a call. We will be happy to quote.

  • “Plunkett Associates have excellent breadth of experience, work with high quality partners and have a flexibility that we have found enables challenges to be met successfully, cost effectively and in a timely manner.”
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Plunkett associates always find a solution. Whatever we need to prototype, they have a great grasp on the technologies available, costs and lead-times so we get the right solution tailored to the project needs. Have always delivered and never let us down.
    Naim Audio
  • “I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense”
    Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
  • "Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground."
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
  • “We were really surprised at how quickly they turned round such a high quality prototype and the parts certainly proved their worth. They were of high enough quality to provide a fantastic visual representation and to undergo rigorous testing."
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
  • “Accuracy, finish and delivery all first class.”
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
  • “We use Plunkett Associates because we want someone we can trust, that knows what they’re talking about, has all the contacts, will provide reliable advice and feedback and will get the right result for us.”
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
  • “We always know exactly what we’re getting and we know we won’t be let down on quality, price or lead times.”
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
  • “Plunkett Associates truly offer a complete turnkey solution with Speed, Effectiveness and Precision.”
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
  • “Kirintec were thrilled with Plunketts. They made a complex process simple and we were just amazed at the lead times achieved. Plus, every single deadline was met without any drama.”
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
  • “Thanks to Plunkett Associates flexible, bespoke and cost effective service I was able to produce the objects that I had originally had in mind.”
    Simon Ryder, Artist
  • To create such a consistent quality finish in chrome was an amazing achievement and the prototypes really gave our stand the wow factor.
    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
  • Interestingly, people who look at it in its own right with little knowledge of what it does, just like it! It’s tactile and it looks good…
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
  • "With their simple to understand language, willingness to go the extra mile and approachability, Plunkett Associates were a great partner for our company. We couldn’t be happier with the results of our project. (A working prototype that they got right first time, by the way). Thank you!"
    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
  • Plunkett Associates worked on the design and production of titanium frames for an artificial heart valve where precision and consistency was paramount. Communications were efficient and productive with concepts readily incorporated into the final design, and suggestions for improvements all highly appropriate. The quality of the end product was ideal and I have no doubt that I will use the advice and expertise of Plunkett Associates again.
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
  • “Thanks for the present that arrived this morning, as promised. Parts look first class, as always.”
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
  • “Plunkett Associates have a fantastic supply chain, work with all sorts of production processes and will always do their utmost to solve a problem.”
    Naim Audio
  • “ Plunketts developed a solution that met our precision requirements at a cost significantly lower than alternative manufacturing approaches we had investigated”
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • “Doing business with you has been an absolute pleasure. You have made my goals a reality. You have been patient, helpful and above all, responsive. Best service that I have experienced in ages. I consider Plunkett Associates to be an integral part of my business plan moving forward.”
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor
Related Processes

Injection Moulding

Produces production intent material properties. Injection Moulding is used for development as well as production parts.

more info

Read more expert articles in our FAQ section where we discuss topics on materials, methods and products.

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  • “Plunkett Associates have excellent breadth of experience, work with high quality partners and have a flexibility that we have found enables challenges to be met successfully, cost effectively and in a timely manner.”
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • Plunkett associates always find a solution. Whatever we need to prototype, they have a great grasp on the technologies available, costs and lead-times so we get the right solution tailored to the project needs. Have always delivered and never let us down.
    Naim Audio
    Naim Audio
  • “I can’t recommend Tim and his team highly enough. We ended up with a design which can be produced and assembled quickly, efficiently and reliably, in volumes that make sense”
    Simon Leggett, Director, Olivewood Technology
    Simon Leggett, Director,  Olivewood Technology
  • "Tim's experience, expertise and supplier base have been fundamental to us getting this project off the ground."
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
    Sam Pearce, Jelly Products Ltd
  • “We were really surprised at how quickly they turned round such a high quality prototype and the parts certainly proved their worth. They were of high enough quality to provide a fantastic visual representation and to undergo rigorous testing."
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
    Stuart Wilson, Design Director, TRT Lighting
  • “Accuracy, finish and delivery all first class.”
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
    Andrew Peters, JMDA Ltd
  • “We use Plunkett Associates because we want someone we can trust, that knows what they’re talking about, has all the contacts, will provide reliable advice and feedback and will get the right result for us.”
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
    Jim Copestick. Design Manager, Thorlux Lighting
  • “We always know exactly what we’re getting and we know we won’t be let down on quality, price or lead times.”
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
    Mark Williams, Research and Development Director, Johnson Safety Products
  • “Plunkett Associates truly offer a complete turnkey solution with Speed, Effectiveness and Precision.”
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
    David Harden, Director, Enica Ltd
  • “Kirintec were thrilled with Plunketts. They made a complex process simple and we were just amazed at the lead times achieved. Plus, every single deadline was met without any drama.”
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
    Penny While, Marketing Director, Kirintec
  • “Thanks to Plunkett Associates flexible, bespoke and cost effective service I was able to produce the objects that I had originally had in mind.”
    Simon Ryder, Artist
    Simon Ryder, Artist
  • To create such a consistent quality finish in chrome was an amazing achievement and the prototypes really gave our stand the wow factor.
    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
    James Clark, Group Commercial Director, The Airdri Group
  • Interestingly, people who look at it in its own right with little knowledge of what it does, just like it! It’s tactile and it looks good…
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
    Tim Collings, Operations Director, Troika Systems Ltd
  • "With their simple to understand language, willingness to go the extra mile and approachability, Plunkett Associates were a great partner for our company. We couldn’t be happier with the results of our project. (A working prototype that they got right first time, by the way). Thank you!"
    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
    Carolina Ballon-Forrester, Director, Kittyrama Ltd
  • Plunkett Associates worked on the design and production of titanium frames for an artificial heart valve where precision and consistency was paramount. Communications were efficient and productive with concepts readily incorporated into the final design, and suggestions for improvements all highly appropriate. The quality of the end product was ideal and I have no doubt that I will use the advice and expertise of Plunkett Associates again.
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
    David Wheatley, Wheatley Research Ltd
  • “Thanks for the present that arrived this morning, as promised. Parts look first class, as always.”
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
    Jon Todd, Design Manager, PHS Group
  • “Plunkett Associates have a fantastic supply chain, work with all sorts of production processes and will always do their utmost to solve a problem.”
    Naim Audio
    Naim Audio
  • “ Plunketts developed a solution that met our precision requirements at a cost significantly lower than alternative manufacturing approaches we had investigated”
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
    Nick Skaer, CEO, Orthox Ltd
  • “Doing business with you has been an absolute pleasure. You have made my goals a reality. You have been patient, helpful and above all, responsive. Best service that I have experienced in ages. I consider Plunkett Associates to be an integral part of my business plan moving forward.”
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor
    Jet Cooper, Sculptor