Re-shoring GTMA acts as focal point for tools returning from Asia

Editor: Eric Culp

There has been a lot of talk about “re-shoring”, the return of toolmaking to Europe from the Far East. The UK Gauge and Tool Makers Association acted as a matchmaker to help a company get its moulds right again.

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The GTMA found a partner with the right skill set for the manufacturer.
The GTMA found a partner with the right skill set for the manufacturer.
(Source: GTMA)

Although the award-winning Ecoegg laundry egg was conceived and designed in the UK, China was initially selected as the site for production and the manufacture of the suite of plastic injection moulding tools required. However, the project was adversely affected by an accumulation of complications from the supplier, which put pressure on the delivery of the finished product. The UK-based Gauge and Tool Makers Association, or GTMA, was approached to find a solution.

‘The biggest mistake I have ever made’

As Ecoegg Managing Director Dawn White recalled, “Our tools were designed in the UK but manufactured in China, which is the biggest mistake I have ever made. The supplier cut every corner with the tools during the manufacturing process, and when it came to the production run, changes were made to the material specification. The initial samples were fine, but the 40,000-unit production run was carried out using a much cheaper, locally sourced material, which caused a number of problems.”

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Related: Should you fear toolmakers in Asia?

The GTMA said it helped White bring the tooling and production back to the UK, providing the opportunity to get the project back under control. After looking through its extensive membership for the best company to tackle the project on a truncated time scale, the association recommended B.E.C. Group. The GTMA said it then acted as a conduit between the two companies to ensure that the project would work successfully.

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