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Faulkner Moulds is Shortlisted as a Finalist in the 2016 Plastic Industry Award

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Faulkner Moulds, a high quality plastic injection mould Toolmaker, based in Elland, West Yorkshire, is delighted to announce they have been shortlisted as a Finalist in the 2016 Plastic Industry Awards.

The awards aim to recognise and reward excellence in the UK Plastics Industry.

The Northern-based Toolmakers are shortlisted in the category of ‘Supplier Partnership – Toolmaker’, which focuses on a Toolmaking company’s ability to work effectively in partnership with their customers to achieve the customer’s goals.

The award entries are based on a case study of working with one customer on a single project, and the successful project is the creation of a Shocksafe Shovel handle for Richard Carter Limited.

As Will Green, Director at Richard Carter, testifies,

“Throughout the whole experience we had superb quality design, toolmaking and customer service from Faulkner Moulds”. 

The Shocksafe Shovel is designed for heavy, professional industrial use by contractors who work close to live electrical cables. The handle protects the worker from potential high voltage electric shocks if their shovel head hits a live conductor cable.

Faulkner Moulds’ working history with Carters goes back over a decade and includes both new tooling and tooling modifications. Will Green at Carters, said: “We knew the Shocksafe handle designer and toolmaker would require a highly technical understanding of how all the component parts could be overmoulded and assembled together successfully. We chose Faulkner Moulds for their proven track record in product development and high quality tooling”.

The Shocksafe shovel had been an important part of Carter’s range for some years. Previously, there were 5 different moulded components that would be glued together on site at Carters. This was a messy process with a risk that there might be air spaces left within the shovel handle. It was time consuming and labour costs were therefore expensive. The shovels were made to order, taking up to 3 weeks to dispatch.

Carters advised Faulkner Moulds that they wanted to invest in new tooling to create a much more simplified, efficient manufacturing process that would enable them to compete with foreign competitors on price and speed of delivery.

Above: A selection of the 9 shovels available from Richard Carters that incorporate the new Shocksafe handle.

The project included technical challenges that Faulkner Moulds successfully overcame:

  • Faulkner Moulds created a single tool as a ‘one size fits all’ tooling solution which incorporated all 3 different components that make up the Shocksafe shovel.
  • This single tool is used for 9 different shovel head components that are individually forged and by nature are dimensionally irregular and misshapen. No change inserts are needed for the various shovel heads. If necessary, any of the 9 different shovel heads could be overmoulded consecutively.
  • The main challenge of the inconsistent shape of the metal shovel heads was successfully overcome through a (confidential) idea of Duncan Faulkner’s, with input from the moulding company, Harold Fisher (Plastics) Ltd, on how the moulding process could be controlled to deliver it without any plastic leaking down or over the top face of the shovel shaft.
  • Faulkner Moulds incorporated an overmoulded handle shaft with a fibreglass core, fitted to a forged steel shovel head with a fibreglass sleeve covering all components, and overmoulded all of these whilst ensuring polypropylene filled all the spaces with everything firmly bonded together.

As a result:

  • The tool moulded first time in the press and now runs reliably, creating 3,000 handles a month.
  • The project was achieved on time and budget (only 4 months from initial meeting to end result).
  • The overall strength and style of the shovel has improved, with an enhanced size and rounded off corners to improve the handle shape and grip for the end user.
  • The project and product are 100% made in England.
  • Carters now have a new warehouse dedicated to holding Shocksafe shovel stock, which is selling with great success.
  • The customer is delighted with the results.

As Will Green of Carters comments:

“A benefit to working with Faulkner Moulds is that Duncan is not just a ‘yes man’ who simply delivers the tool he is initially asked for. Duncan will look critically at the product and every aspect of the manufacturing process and come up with his own, innovative, recommendations.

With Faulkner Moulds, we are reassured that we don’t just get what we believe we want, we get exactly what we need”

Duncan Faulkner, Managing Director and Chief Designer at Faulkner Moulds adds:

“At Faulkner Moulds we consider each project using Design for Manufacturing principles to ensure every tool we make provides a long and profitable life for the customer”. 

The winners of the Plastic Industry Awards will be announced on 30 September 2016 at a prestigious awards ceremony at the London Hilton Hotel.