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Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a summary of answers to frequently asked questions. To read more detailed FAQ about our production processes and services, please click the links below :-

FAQ summary - General
Q: Which method is most suitable for my part, Injection moulding or Vacuum Forming ?
As a guide - use vac forming if your parts thickness is uniform, A4 paper size or more & the annual quantities needed are low (10-5000) OR use injection moulding if your parts wall thickness differs, is less than A4 paper size & annual quantities needed are medium-high (1000-100,000+)
Q: I have CAD files of my parts, are the files of use to you ?
Yes, we can use them to carry out a quote, create tool drawings & even make mould tools saving you both time and money - DXF, DWG, IGES, Parasolid, Pro-Engineer, STEP, SAT & SolidWorks are all usable.
Q: I have an existing product but no CAD data, can you still quote ?
Yes, we need a sample, sketch, drawing or photo of your parts with sizes plus the internal box sizes if your parts must fit inside a packaging box. Please also confirm the plastic material types or thickness needed OR properties you need the parts to have e.g. UV light resistance, working temperature of XXºc and the batch quantities, colours or transparency needed. If you prefer, contact us or complete our Express Quote Request Form which lists the info. we need.
Q: I need a replacement plastic part for my car / chair / fridge, can you help ?

Probably not, as tooling has to be made to make plastics parts. As injection mould tools typically cost more then £ 1500 and vacuum forming tools less than £ 1000, if you only need 1 replacement plastic part, our service is unlikely to be cost effective.
However, if your replacement plastic part is for e.g. a classic car or you've got a great product idea, our fixed price product design or model services may be suitable for you - it's what we do well and at excellent prices, so contact us.

Q: My parts are cheaper from China, so why should I place my work with you in the UK ?
The initial cost from China may be cheaper, but many companies experience quality, delivery and communication issues and have difficulty getting faulty products put right. Confidentiality laws are not as strict in China and if your product is a true innovation, you may well be beaten to market. We work to ISO 9001:2008 quality standards and as we're a British family company, communication is easy. If your product is confidential, you can download our confidentiality agreement and we'll stick to it. To benefit from Chinese prices with the reassurance of our experience, explore our Chinese Tooling Service.
more mould tools FAQ...
mould tools & mouldings
Q: Steel Mould Tools or Alloy Mould Tools - which type do you recommend ?
As a guide - If you need millions of very complex mouldings, have few cost restraints, or need a tool with mechanisms which constantly rub against each other to make the mouldings, steel mould tools are best. If you need 100 - 500,000 simple to complex mouldings on a budget & quickly, alloy mould tools are best. Please note that we can also make tools from a combination of alloy & steel.
Q: I've got existing mould tools - can you fit them in your machines & make mouldings for me now ?
Yes, we can adapt a range of tools to to run automatically or semi-automatically in our moulding machines: soft aluminium, prototype, steel & tools with load in inserts, as well as Austin Allen, Boy & Manumold mould tools. Having your existing mould tool adapted to run automatically will save you time & money (no operator required) and will result in better quality mouldings & longer tool life due to stable moulding conditions.
Q: Do you make the injection mould tooling, vacuum forming tooling and injection mouldings yourself ?
Yes, we provide product design & make tooling, injection mouldings, vacuum formings & more here in the UK. We can also use our Chinese tooling partner to make tooling for you at very competitive prices, but we manage & guarantee the tooling.
Q: Do you make mould tools for other companies to mould from ?
Yes, as long as the parts are within our moulding capacity so we can test the mould tools - we also modify and repair existing mould tools. In both cases, we prefer to make the mouldings as well so that you benefit from our experience & quality control.
Q: I'd like product identification, text instructions or logos on my mouldings - is this possible ?
We can do this for both vac forming & injection moulding in a number of ways. Text or logos can be engraved on mould tools to be either recessed or stood up on the injection moulding or vac forming or it can be hot foil or pad printed on the parts after moulding or forming.
more mouldings FAQ...
vacuum forming
Q: My parts need protection from static & transit damage. Can you help ?
Our 150+ standard plastic trays can be made from conductive plastic and we can make antistatic custom vacuum formed plastic trays & other items or conductive plastic mouldings for you.
Q: My existing vac formings measure less than 1 mm thick in places but they were made in 1 mm material - is this normal ?
Yes, whilst the plastic sheet may've been 1 mm thick before forming, the vac forming process heats, stretches & forms these sheets over a wooden / aluminium tool in order to make the finished vac forming This process reduces the vac forming in section, although this can be minimised by reducing pockets depths, using 5° - 10° draft angles on side walls & large (3 mm+) curves/radii on pockets and avoiding very narrow slots.
Q: My existing supplier has ceased trading & I don't have the vac forming tool, but I have a sample vac forming - can you help ?
Provided it's in good condition, we could use it to make a resin cast tool to save you time & money.
Q: I've made a vac forming tool - if I send it to you, can you use it to make some vac formings for me ?
Provided the vac forming tool is finished well & has suitable draft angles, we should be able to use it to make make some vac formings for you.
more vac forming FAQ...
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