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Strengthening our capabilities - Plunkett's now offer PVC mouldings!

Plunkett Associates have recently teamed up with a supplier who has been moulding PVC for the last 30 years. He has seen the good, the bad and the ugly within the development of PVC moulding industry, and had the answer to pretty much every question I fired at him…

Injection mould machineWhat’s your experience with PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)?

I started moulding in 1977 – 40 years ago! Since then I have made pretty much everything from large to small, the easy and the difficult. I’ve also been responsible for around 1.5 million conservatories being built. I love the variety and dare I say, still get a buzz out of those challenging parts!

What are the main reasons for using PVC?

I just think PVC has it all…. It is strong, durable and lightweight and incredibly cost effective. It is also an extremely safe material being non-toxic and fire resistant.PVC

I also love the fact that the parts I produce are uniform and come off the machine the same colour and with the same surface finish whether it’s part number 2 or 20,000. PVC parts retain their colour too and don’t tend to fade like some other materials.

In addition there are no limitations regarding the complexity of the parts that can be produced. The sky really is the limit…PVC

What can PVC be used for?

What can’t it be used for?! One of the most common uses for rigid PVC is pipework – the fact that it doesn’t corrode, and is long lasting, makes it ideal for all outdoor applications. Other uses include the obvious such as windows, doors and conservatories. In fact the construction industry would be lost without it now!PVC

Flexible PVC is used for electrical cables as it is a good electrical insulator.  This plus the fact that it is non-toxic means it is safely used within the medical and food industries for a huge variety of applications.

Why do some moulders shy away from using PVC?

When I first started moulding with PVC there were problems and some moulders still seem to struggle to use it as a material. I worked with it and developed a team of toolmakers and between us we learnt to overcome the initial teething problems.PVC

As technology progressed it became easier and now it is my material of choice. You have to have faith in the design and your toolmaker and I am lucky as I have both of those. Between Plunkett Associates, myself and the toolmakers, we should have about 200 years of experience between us so I am pretty confident that we will be able to take on almost anything! (or in really extreme cases know when to step back!)

Do I need specialist tooling to mould in PVC?Injection mould machine

The answer to that one is no more so than for any other material. My many years of experience stand me in pretty good stead to predict how it may react to particular alloys, and why and when to look after the tool.

Can you source the appropriate tooling?

Naturally, experience is the key here. I know some pretty special toolmakers that I have worked with for a long time who, again don’t worry about working with PVC. Between us we work out the best solution for the clients requirements.

Injection mould machineWhat size parts can you produce currently?

With the machines I have at the moment, I can produce parts up to about 200g (about 300mm in length). Because I work so closely with the toolmaker and the guys at Plunkett’s, turnaround time is as quick as it can be.

Obviously high quality parts are a must, but if the design is right and speed is of the essence, then of course we can get parts made as soon as. (This is nearly always governed by the toolmaking and part complexity).

Why have Plunkett Associates teamed up with you?

Tim was saying they’ve had many enquiries over the years for PVC parts but often people don’t realize the benefits or the many applications for the material. The fact that PVC is often overlooked and yet so price competitive in comparison to other commonly used materials is criminal really. As a result, Tim felt it was time to strengthen Plunkett Associates capability in this area in order to be able to service clients needs - and then they found me!

What next?

Contact Plunkett’s initially and we will take it from there.

  • “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

Read more expert articles in our Latest News 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