Our next stop was at Leicestershire based MJ Toolmakers. We met with company director Paul McDermott to find out more.
MJ Toolmakers is a family business, founded by Paul’s father Michael McDermott in 1995, now run by his two sons, Paul and Nathan. (Pictured left and centre left) The company moved from their original site in Market Harborough in 2011, to their new premises at the Airfield Business Park on the outskirts of the town.
The company’s recent growth allowed them to purchase two adjacent factory units last year, resulting in a large three-unit facility, taking the total floor space to 12,000 sq ft. This expansion has allowed them to house larger machines, increasing their production capacity, as well as improving workflow by allowing separation of the machining and finishing areas of the site.
The company has future-proofed its growth by purchasing more space than it needs currently; evidence of their forward-thinking attitude. MJ will shortly be opening two new divisions, further enhancing its production facility to be a complete customer solution.
MJ Toolmakers supply a wide range of clients, including leading automotive companies and established medical device manufacturers. As well as producing large injection moulding tools (up to 1800x1200mm) the company specialises in fine tolerances and technical solutions, such as complex unscrewing mechanisms.
Paul explained an example of an eight-impression tool that MJ developed for a recent customer, which needed eight separate unscrew mechanisms; driven by a single helical shaft. It’s this kind of complex design solutions that set MJ apart from their competitors, and which the company pride themselves on.
We asked Paul what factors had contributed to the company’s expansion:
“Our purchase of the two new factory units last year was important for the growth of the business. We’re now housing more machines and running a more efficient factory due to improved workflow.”
“We’re committed to investing in the latest equipment, proven by the recent additions of three new Hurco CNC Machines, and a new Charmilles 4-axis Spark Eroder. We’ve also added five new CAM stations, running the latest NCG CAM software, as well as five new CAD workstations, allowing us to work with all formats of drawing files.”
“We’re also continuing to invest in our team. One of our apprentices recently qualified as a 5-year time served toolmaker, as have all other staff on site.”
We asked Paul what sets MJ Toolmakers apart from their competitors:
“Injection moulding is only one area our company excels in; we are also highly experienced in rubber injection, compression, and transfer moulds. We manufacture extrusion dies for the plastic profile industry, as well as for dual and triple cored tubing dies for co-extruded, and braided piping. We are highly knowledgeable in aluminium and zinc cast tooling, both gravity, and injected fed. We also manufacture punch and press die tooling.
“We currently have a special project going through the factory for a new bespoke kitchen item. As well as the twelve injection mould tools needed for the plastic components, we are producing three aluminium cast tools and associated press tooling for punch and forming metal sheeting. This demonstrates that the customer has been able to work with just our company, rather than having to manage several different specialist suppliers, saving them valuable time and money.
“The diversity of our knowledge and skills goes a long way in ensuring a constant flow of work through our facility, giving us the ability to grow and expand our production facility to where we are now.”
Finally, we asked Paul if the company had a philosophy or ‘mantra’:
“Our company slogan is ‘From concept to final product, with helpful assistance, and knowledge every step of the way.’
“We build tools for the future, that are long-lasting and require minimal maintenance.”
Look out for the next edition of ‘PlastikCity on Tour’ to learn more about our excellent UK based partners.
There are now well over 200 active partners represented on the PlastikCity site, many of which offer highly specialised products or services to our sector.
During our everyday course of business, we’ll be making a point of visiting as many of these partners as we can and using the time to better understand what they offer the market. We’ll then showcase them through this ongoing series of articles.
Maybe you can benefit from their services!