The investment is being driven by an increased demand for engineered plastic components, with Plastic Turned Parts filling the niche where injection moulding is not viable due to time and cost restraints, or where moulding is simply not an option due to the unsuitability of the plastic material.
“Everything we machine here is plastic and we are able to achieve much greater dimensional accuracy, with no concerns over shrinkage,” says Jonathan Newis, managing director. “These latest machines bring our total investment to over £400,000 in 2018, with four Citizen sliding-head lathes being installed. Three of the machines have the latest LFV technology, which is ideal for machining plastics as swarf can be controlled.”
Growth at Plastic Turned Parts is coming from old and new customers across a diverse range of industries. One particular client has increased its requirement for two specific components, from 50,000 to 150,000 each, and one of the two latest machines will be dedicated to this work. The increase is down to strong global sales among customers, and an increase in reshoring parts.
“Customers are seeing distinct advantages to having plastic parts machined rather than moulded, mainly around cost and timescale relating to tooling, but also the consistent quality that machining can bring,” says Newis. “This is reflected in a very strong order book and, as we operate KanBan systems with many of our customers, we have an insight into future order books. We can see that the next 8-10 months are extremely positive. This level of interest and continued growth gives us the confidence to make these investments in capital equipment, as well as recruiting two new people into the business, one as a setter and another as an operator.”