Despite the 2020 Covid downside, Christmas remained the season to be jolly – with children, gifts and toys still playing a full part. Leading UK injection moulder Boddingtons has been taking an increasing role in this particular sector.
For nearly two years now, Marden-based Boddingtons has been partnered with the Robertsbridge based Community Playthings, helping produce the latter’s successful range of furniture and educational tools, resources and products for children.
Work between the two companies began following a meeting at the Southern Manufacturing exhibition in February 2018. Although Community Playthings had a moulding and toolmaking facility of its own, together with CNC machine and spark erosion equipment, the company was intent on contracting out a significant portion of its moulding business to a trusted third party.
Boddingtons moulded parts assembled into a finished product
Boddingtons Business Development Manager Chris Philpott recalls that initial business began with a handful of tools for contract moulding. This volume steadily increased in subsequent months to the point where Boddingtons now produces some 80 components for its nearby client. ‘Our working relationship with Community Playthings has really blossomed over the past three years,’ says Philpott ‘and the creativity of both sides has been optimised.’
Philpott says that the reasons for success include:
Local-based – the two businesses are but some 30 minutes drive away.
Flexible – courier systems allow a very precise stock and ordering system on a JIT basis.
Fast tooling – steel and aluminium-based tools are created in world-class lead times.
Quick change systems – Community Playthings & Boddingtons operate a Mud Frame quick change tooling system that allows the hot swap of tooling in minutes rather than hours.
Innovative materials – most mouldings are made with Polyram nylon-based materials, a blend specifically manufactured for Community Playthings products.
Community Playthings take the lead in most matters of product design and then award-winning skill sets of Boddingtons helps ensure that the design-for-manufacture is as efficient as it can be.
Boddingtons has dedicated an area of its factory to Community Playthings production that comprises of three injection moulding machines. ‘We produce a wide variety of shot weights across the 80 or so mouldings, ranging from 20 gm to over 3 kilos in weight,’ says Philpott. ‘We therefore need to provide manufacturing flexibility in terms of machine size, using a 110 ton, 370 ton and 850 ton machines and other dedicated resources.’
If anything, the demands of the Covid 19 pandemic imply an increase in the need for the products made by Community Playthings – which can be used for ‘at home’ schooling as well as by traditional schools and institutions.
Boddingtons has also been able to cross-fertilise the lessons of joint product design and JIT production into its growing work load in the medical and healthcare sectors. Speed of response and manufacturing flexibility are key for the business and its manufacturing services.
Contact Boddingtons direct for manufacturing needs.
Telephone 01622 833700