USA manufacturing is booming and riding the crest of the Re-Shoring wave. But I’m fearful we’re losing steam in the UK………
Last week I was talking to the owner of a PlastikCity moulding partner who invested £2M in the last three years to modernise and develop his moulding shop. These years have been a challenge as he fought the banks for finance and struggled to find trained staff. By utilising ‘higher rate’ loans he bought the machinery and started training programmes and he now has one of the most modern and efficient moulding companies, I would argue, in the world!
He rang me this week asking me for help to find work for his 1000 tonne machine!
I hear excuses out there that manufacturers want to bring production home – saying “there’s no capacity”, “I can’t find good suppliers” – I then heard another side!
At PlastikCity we promote UK plastics manufacturing by making it easy for users to find excellent UK moulding companies and suppliers. Through the site we received an enquiry where a Midlands based company was having problems with their Chinese moulder, saying quality was erratic, prices were rising and they had to buy big stocks up front. As such they wanted to bring 14 moulds back to the UK. I introduced them to three excellent UK moulders who all had capacity to absorb their work. The result; after one month of meetings, the buyer said the unit prices were higher than their Chinese supplier so they couldn’t proceed.
I then introduced them to what I would say were two ‘second level’ moulders. Again the prices were deemed too high! Finally I gave them one more option, a company that was keen to get started and was prepared to work with this buyer to develop his facilities. The buyer said the risks were too high! The moulds are still in China!
This was very disconcerting to me. I can’t speak for other processes but we’ve seen unprecedented levels of plastic machinery investment over the last two years with most suppliers seeing 30% sales growth over this period. Yes, skilled workers have been an issue, but most have laid down training programmes and they’re starting to get in control.
These moulders are continuing to invest, taking huge risks, but believing passionately in the future of UK manufacturing.
So if you bring in products from low cost regions don’t you think it’s time you talked seriously to these suppliers? You’ll get consistent quality, lower lead times and Yes, slightly higher prices – but you’ll also be securing UK jobs, improving our economy and your volumes will help our moulders become even more competitive!
You can find the best UK moulders on the PlastikCity site by simply clicking here
- We cover Injection Moulding | Blow moulding | Rotational Moulding | Vacuum Forming
- You can read their profiles, capacity, capabilities and specialist areas.
- You can complete the simple on line specification forms and quickly acquire comparative quotes.
We make it easy to find excellent UK moulding partners – so bring your work home and support those who support our economy!