There is no denying that 2017 was, in the main, a quiet year for us here at Pentagon. This was especially evident in quarter one of the year.
The volume of production orders fell dramatically across all industry sectors, and given the diversity of our customer base, we couldn’t help but wonder if this was due to the continued uncertainty of Brexit?
As the months passed, production began to pick up slowly until we hit a real upturn from September onwards. The upturn, however, was not in the area that we would have expected…
The core of our business service is plastic injection moulding with supportive services of design assistance, development, toolmaking and post moulding all set out to provide added value to the main business practice. Our Moulding Division is home to 10 injection moulding presses and has always been a hive of activity as we produce bespoke plastic injection mouldings from low to medium volume.
Increase in toolmaking enquiries
Our team of Mould Setters are experts in their field, and many of the components that we manufacture bring a high level of technical expertise and processing challenges.
However, over recent times we cannot help but recognise that the nature of enquiries we are receiving is beginning to weigh more heavily to the toolmaking arm of the business.
Being one of the few UK plastic injection moulders to offer full on-site tool manufacture, we have always been well placed to work with customers from initial development stages right the way through to final production of finished components. In 2016 we acquired Phoenix Engineering 2009 Ltd, further enhancing the scope of in-house toolmaking services that we offer.
Upon year-end analysis, it is evident that the proportion of quotations are currently tipping more heavily on the toolmaking side. We are well positioned to be able to adapt to this current rise in demand for UK tool manufacture while continuing to drive up production levels for injection moulding.
We often read in industry news that the demand for UK manufacturing is on the rise such as the recent release from Lloyds Bank in their UK Manufacturing Outlook (22/03/2018). For us this has never felt more evident as lines of enquiry from business and individuals looking to source UK tooling solutions, as opposed to taking their tooling requirements overseas, is becoming an almost daily occurrence.
Once again making us wonder if this too is being driven by the uncertainty of Brexit or is it simply the realisation that these skills are still available in the UK? In the past, we have written about the potential effects of Brexit here.
Strength in tooling and moulding
We are in a fortunate position that we have strength and capacity in both elements of our Plastic Injection Moulding and Toolmaking business, enabling us to be responsive to these increasing demands.
Reaffirming the need for a flexible approach in our business model as we continue to merge our two companies forming the Pentagon Plastics Group.