The plastic injection moulding presses are quiet here in the Moulding Division, but the Tooling orders are on the rise.
It is a rather odd time here at Pentagon as the Mould shop is currently operating at 70% capacity, a far cry from what we have been used to over the last few years as high production levels had been consistent.
We were always mindful that the impact of COVID-19 would come a little further down the line for us with the initial flurry of medical production orders at the start of the pandemic. As the hospital admissions are now far lower the medical products are well stocked. For us it is the grounding of the aviation industry that is now impacting on our usual production levels.
Producing various components that are used in aircraft seating and cockpits the usual high level of orders for aviation products has all but stopped. Absorbing information from the press, industry, and other aviation manufacturers we are not alone and to be frank, it is a little frightening to contemplate the long-term impact on this previously unstoppable industry sector. Although we do not doubt that at some point pre-pandemic flight levels will return, what is less certain is how long this will take? We anticipate that it will be years until we see the pre-pandemic volume of aircraft back in our skies and this does inevitably expose us to some risk.
Fortunately, our technical injection moulding services serve many different industry sectors and for this, we are thankful. Not producing components for just one industry sector ensures we have a good market spread which allows us to continue to operate fully even if some of our customer production requirements drop. Although our mould shop is notably quieter these days, we are still producing a good quantity of product for our diverse customer base.
Also using our time wisely in this quieter period, we can carry out good housekeeping, process reviews and internal training needs. Sometimes the opportunity to slow down allows us to be productive and pro-active in other areas that do not usually get our attention as much as they should amongst the daily buzz.
As we look ahead with much uncertainty these are undoubtedly challenging and worrying times for many businesses.