Faulkner Moulds wins Top Plastic Industry Award for their “Exemplary” Toolmaking

Faulkner Moulds Limited, a high quality plastic injection mould toolmaker and product designer, based in Elland, West Yorkshire, is delighted to announce they have received the coveted award for the best UK Toolmaker, at the Plastic Industry Awards, 2016.

The prestigious awards ceremony, held at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Friday 30 September, aims to recognise and reward excellence in the UK Plastics Industry.

The Northern-based toolmakers were champions 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 a customer’s goals.

faulkner1  Duncan Faulkner(Centre), Managing Director at Faulkner Moulds Ltd, receiving the award; 

The judges described Faulkner Moulds and their award-winning project as “exemplary”, praising the toolmakers for “taking ownership of the project” on behalf of their customer, and saying, “impressive, how both the toolmaker and moulder worked professionally towards a common goal”.

Duncan Faulkner, owner and Managing Director of Faulkner Moulds says, “We are delighted to win at the Plastic Industry Awards, which showcase the best of British manufacturing.” In fact, all 3 parties, the toolmaker, moulder (Harold Fisher (Plastics) Limited) and customer (Richard Carter Limited) are all based in West Yorkshire.


Faulkner Moulds, established in 1994, has come a long way. In the last 3 years, the company’s workforce has trebled, and it has invested in state-of-the-art technology, moving to the Elland area and expanding its premises. “Our mission has always been to deliver world class mould tooling for our customers”, says Duncan, adding, “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 Toolmaker award entries are based on a case study of working with one customer on a single project, and the successful project is Faulkner Moulds’ creation of a Shocksafe Shovel handle for Richard Carter Limited (pictured below).

As Will Green, Director at Richard Carter, testifies, “Throughout the whole experience we had superb quality design, toolmaking and customer service from Faulkner Moulds. We chose Faulkner Moulds for their proven track record in product development and high quality tooling”.

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.

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.

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 Yorkshire, 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”.



Caroline Faulkner, Faulkner Moulds Limited.

Tel: 01422 371072