Tide Turns on Offshore Manufacturing: Reshoring Tooling to the UK

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The reshoring of tooling and production back to the UK has been a steady trend over the last decade, and it shows no sign of slowing down. In the last month, BEC Group has received a marked increase in enquiries related to the reshoring of tooling across a number of industries.

As the manufacturing sector faces squeezed margins with no let-up in target quality levels, this looks like a trend that’s sure to stay.

But what are the main drivers for businesses to reshore large parts of their production?

What are the benefits of doing so?

And how can BEC help?

The motivations behind companies large and small reshoring are numerous. Poor quality tooling that lasts for only thousands of productions runs as opposed to hundreds of thousands; a lack of communication from the toolmaker; only part-owning the tools and increasing labour, and transport costs to name a few!

For many, and particularly in BEC’s experience, quality improvement is the biggest factor in re-locating, in terms of both quality assurance of mouldings, certification, and non-conformance. Cheaper offshore tooling, frequently made from aluminium, lasts only a fraction of the production runs of steel and lacks consistency in moulding over many runs as the tool wears down. Steel tools by comparison can last for hundreds of thousands of production runs, producing high-quality, identical mouldings each time.

Customers bringing tools back to BEC can take advantage of its Hampshire-based facility and ease of communication.  Virtual and face-to-face meetings are the norm at BEC, and with your toolmaker, only a phone call away modifications, sampling, and product development are far easier to achieve.

Mike Tharme, Engineering Director at BEC commented “We work in close collaboration with our customers that bring back work to our UK facility. We know how important the relationship between toolmaker and customer is, particularly with large production transitions. Previous reshoring customers of ours have certainly reaped the long-term benefits of the move; de-risking their supply chains from global issues and ensuring the quality of their tooling and mouldings into the future.”

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