Leading technical and medical moulder White Horse Plastics is currently expanding its manufacturing operations with the purchase of a second SmartPower injection moulding machine from Wittmann Battenfeld UK.
A long-standing and valued Wittmann Battenfeld (WIBA) UK customer, White Horse Plastics (WHP), invested in a SmartPower 90/350 in June 2016 and had located this machine in the company’s medical manufacturing cell prior to the company’s successful ISO 13485 medical quality assurance audit.
Nothing but good things followed on from this purchase, especially with regard to process accuracy, machine repeatability and very low energy consumption.
White Horse Plastics’ Managing Director Paul Bobby says that “the catalyst for our second SmartPower purchase was a particular opportunity that needed immediate capacity. However, the purchase fits very well with our strategic wish to start replacing some of our older Battenfeld machines – still going strong mind! – with new, more energy-efficient and repeatable process machines.”
Wittmann Battenfeld UK’s Joint Managing Director, Daniel Williams, says that “we are delighted to, once more, help WHP advance its manufacturing and its business ambitions. We think of our SmartPower as an iconic design with many manufacturing benefits. Happily, most of our customers agree – since it is rare to find any that restrict themselves to just one purchase!”
Paul Bobby concurs, saying that “the best things still apply here – highly repeatable process capability; very energy efficient; user-friendly interfaces and tidy machine footprint.”
The 2019 White Horse Plastics Management Buy-Out (MBO) ushered in a new era for the WHP business. Paul Bobby reports that “in common with many other companies, we pretty much ground to a halt back in April 2020, but our medical/healthcare sector business kept us working all the way through. We also used the time wisely to reset ourselves a little, prepare for all things Brexit, and manoeuvred ourselves into a strong position to push forward as things recovered. We are now very optimistic about the future, but like many others are still treading carefully as we deal with the present.”
WHP’s canny business sense tracked the availability of the right machine – one of Wittmann’s Smart-Sellers – and made a quick swoop for its purchase.
Tracy Cadman, Joint Managing Director of Wittmann Battenfeld UK, says that “WHP’s SmartPower was supplied from our extensive UK stock range at Wellingborough in a rapid delivery. Our SmartSeller option is also something that WIBA UK have been successfully deploying for some time now.”
The reputation of WHP rests on a pedigree of tight tolerance technical injection moulding, something it has effectively moved from the demanding automotive marketplace to the new frontiers of medical and healthcare.
WHP’s healthcare-based portfolio includes manufacturing FeNO (Fractional exhaled Nitric Oxide) mouth-piece assemblies used to assist the diagnosis of asthma and other lung diseases, micro centrifugal test columns and the development of PPE equipment.
Paul Bobby notes that “at one time WHP was historically some 90% dependent on the automotive sector. Over the past 2-3 years, we have reduced this significantly (currently circa 60% and targeting <50%) as our medical business has grown. We are now working with many other UK businesses on reshoring projects. To be honest, the past 18 months has been a bit of a wake-up call concerning the UK’s over-dependence on Far Eastern suppliers.”
Together with the reshoring issue, the Covid pandemic also brought various other supply-chain issues to the fore – including the necessity to educate WHP’s newest customers in the basics of the manufacturing process. Such customers find themselves in the right place: The WHP business has nearly 50 years of operation behind it. The new WHP management team counts over 100 years of injection moulding expertise. WHP technical competencies now include over 30 injection moulding machines, CAD/CAM facilities, CNC optical measurement, CMM systems, insert loading and camera inspection, a fully equipped tool room and dedicated med-tech manufacturing space.
WIBA UK anticipates that once the first wave of the Covid-19 crisis passes, the UK contract-moulding sector will continue developing business for med-tech and healthcare manufacture and supply. “Closer engagement with this sector makes sense in all sorts of ways,” says Daniel Williams.
In that vein, the Wittmann Battenfeld group will once again be showing the latest in its cleanroom-based medical injection moulding technology in the Austrian Pavilion at the prestigious annual Medica Compamed Exhibition in Dusseldorf from November 15-18, 2021.
Visit White Horse Plastics’ website for more information, or contact the company directly for all medical and healthcare manufacturing needs.
Use the information listed below to contact Wittmann Battenfeld UK for details of SmartPower and medical moulding opportunities.