UK Tooling Alliance

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GTMA’s UK Tooling Alliance offers a  resource to be reckoned with

The GTMA is proud to announce its new UK Tooling Alliance (UKTA) initiative was launched at the PDM exhibition and conference on 18th April.

UKTA aims to offer customers a unique turnkey solution for procurement. GTMA points out that the new alliance will provide a well-resourced and versatile capability to customers, supporting the growing trend for OEMs to use local suppliers and services.

UKTA comprises of a number of toolmakers with a variety of capacity and technical capabilities to present a unified credible supplier front with far more to offer than any single company. It will support the toolmakers, which have a wide range of expertise and the ability to handle tools ranging from micro to 10 tonnes capacity, secure projects and engage them in Early Supplier involvement (ESI) and introduce what is termed a ‘total care package’ at the design development stage. Auditing of the partners’ capabilities was conducted by the GTMA.

GTMA CEO, Julia Moore, says: “It is the aim of the UKTA to achieve a ‘right first time tool’ and ‘right first time moulded part’ for the manufacturer. ESI will bring the toolmakers’ unique technical knowledge on the manufacture of tooling to the correct stage of the concept design. It should be recognised that 80 per cent of the manufacturing cost of a new product is determined by the product and tooling design."

The GTMA recognises that some toolmakers have almost resigned themselves to losing UK business opportunities and believe that they would be unable to secure, as a company, higher value projects and large suites of tooling. Some have been told that their relatively small scale restricts their opportunity to win large contracts as their manufacturing capacity and project sustainability are called into question.

“UKTA will overcome these fears and open up new opportunities for the partner companies. With a potential complement of more than 100 individual toolmakers from world-class companies and a combined turnover of over £20 million we can address the needs of any manufacturing business, whatever the scale,” Julia Moore claims.

The partners of the UKTA have come together following countrywide initial meetings and workshops to explore the potential and develop the website www.uktoolingalliance.com. The outcome, the GTMA believes, is a good mix but by no means a fixed one, as Julia Moore states: “We hope others will join, and l welcome contact from quality companies who may be interested in selection."

Critical advantages for the customers are potential reductions in product cycle times, reductions in waste, improved product development co-ordination and liaison, inventory reduction and joint Failure Mode Effects Analysis, as well as enhance early supplier involvement opportunities for both the supplier and the customer.

GTMA has formed a working group to support the project, and the selected UKTA project team that will project manage activities, interfacing between the customer and the group. It is also promoting the group, as well as auditing it for capacity, scope, expertise and quality.

Independent analysis and review of mould design and mould tool qualification will be provided by G & A Moulding Technology, providing independent services such as technical expertise, part design analysis, including the use of Moldflow software as required, and mould tool trialling validation.

“Accepting the change, the UKTA partners put aside a degree of their independence in pursuit of wider benefits has been exciting, but they have a key role in the design-to-supply chain which requires co-operation and collaboration not competition. And, there are further benefits in terms of raising the toolmaking industry’s profile and creating an environment that is more attractive to a well-educated younger generation,” she concludes.

For Further Information on the UK Tooling Alliance and their capabilities then please Contact Julia Moore on 0121 601 6367

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