All posts by Nicole Mathes

Plastic Injection moulding products

Q & A – Tool making and injection moulding

Over 20 years ago Harvey Water Softeners (HWS) approached WSM Plastics asking for support with their tool making and injection moulding manufacturing processes. Since then the partnership has continued to grow and WSM Plastics has been their key injection moulding partner for over 20 years. We asked Gavin Bridger, Head of Manufacturing Operations, at Harvey Water Softeners about his experience with WSM Plastics. You can read a case study about Harvey Water Softeners here.

Q & A with Gavin Bridger, Head of Manufacturing Operations, at Harvey Water Softeners

Why did you choose WSM Plastics?
We have chosen to grow our partnership with WSM Plastics due to the fantastic support offered in all areas of the business along with their world-class knowledge in all aspects of tool making and plastic injection moulding.

What benefits have you seen since working with WSM Plastics?
WSM Plastics are fantastic at supporting us when there is an issue or tight timelines, running additional shifts, or moving production around to ensure that we can continue to produce.

What do you like most about the experience with WSM Plastics?
Whilst being experts in the field of injection moulding, the team at WSM Plastics, is always personable. It does not matter how big the challenge is or how disruptive this might be. They always support us and supply products to the highest quality level.

Please contact WSM Plastics for further information about their tool making and plastic injection moulding capabilities.


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Plastic Injection moulding products

Case study – Tool making and injection moulding

Over 20 years ago Harvey Water Softeners (HWS) approached WSM Plastics asking for support with their tool making and injection moulding manufacturing processes. Since then the partnership has continued to grow and WSM Plastics has been their key injection moulding partner for over 20 years. WSM Plastics is manufacturing the majority of Harvey Water Softener’s plastic injection moulding components for all of HWS water softener range, as well as parts for their filtration system.

Harvey Water Softeners are one of the largest water softener manufacturer in Europe and started their business 40 years ago. They design and build thousands of domestic water softeners and are the leading manufacture of non-electric water softeners in the UK and Europe. They sell directly to end consumers and small commercial businesses.

Harvey Water Softeners have implemented huge changes in their manufacturing process over the past few years. They are using the latest technology to make big innovations in their production process, and they have big plans for the future too. They decided to focus on their core capabilities – the manufacturing of water softeners. They do not have their own injection moulding machines to manufacture the necessary plastic components for their water softeners, and have decided to outsource the plastic injection moulding production to WSM Plastics.

“I started working with WSM Plastics four years ago when I joined Harvey Water Softeners and could see that WSM Plastics is a business we should be growing a partnership with. In the last four years, we have continued to move more of our production to the WSM Plastics production site in Lancing and have also upgraded our tools with them.” Gavin Bridger Head of Manufacturing Operations at Harvey Water Softeners comments.

Focusing on core capabilities to increase efficiencies
Harvey Water Softeners is the expert in the production of water softeners and WSM Plastics is an expert in tool making and injection moulding production which makes an ideal partnership. Harvey Water Softener is relying on WSM’s 40 years of experience in the tool making and plastic injection moulding industry. As part of the production WSM Plastics has been advising Harvey Water Softeners on the required polymers to use, tools to produce, the entire injection moulding process, as well as all the required injected moulded sub-components. WSM Plastics is not only a supplier but also an extension to their business.

“The team at WSM Plastics will always strive in improving processes and working to make the highest quality product  in the most efficient way. WSM Plastics always looks to work in a partnership with their customers, making it a great business relationship.” Gavin Bridger Head of Manufacturing Operations at Harvey Water Softeners remarks.”

WSM Plastics supports Harvey Water Softener with tool making, the production of injection moulding components, and the sub-assemblies of manufactured components.

Please contact WSM Plastics for further information about their tool making and plastic injection moulding capabilities.

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Made in Britain

Manufactured in the UK

We are proud to be a British manufacturer of mould tools and plastic injection moulding  components. From our premises in Lancing, West Sussex, we design and manufacture tools and plastic injection moulded components for a wide range of sectors including the medical, water treatment, aerospace and hygiene industry.

We are now a registered member of Made in Britain – a highly regarded body of some of the UK’s best manufacturers.

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New UK made 8 impression pump body tool

We have just finished a new UK made 8 impression pump body tool for one of our customers

WSM Plastics are now four weeks into manufacturing a new 8 impression pump body tooling, all made in the UK in our tool-room in Lancing, Sussex. Our customer asked us to assist them in making this new tool in 12 weeks, a challenge that the team in the WSM Plastics Tool Room have risen to and are on target to achieve, with the first trial date booked for the end of November 2020.

We have been able to react to this project for two reasons, our teams positive can do attitude, allowing us to work 15 hours a day within the tool room, and our dedicated tool designers with over 40 years’ experience working hand in hand with our dedicated tool makers all under one roof.


Our dedicated UK based tool room, injection moulding and manufacturing facilities
Not only do WSM Plastics have a fully staffed and dedicated UK based tool room, injection moulding and manufacturing facility to service our UK and European customers, we also have companies and partners around the world, with sister companies in Northern China, USA and Europe and long term partner companies in Southern China. This is allowing us to react quickly to projects that are cost sensitive and market sensitive. With this network we are able to support our customers from America, Europe, Asia and the rest of the world all from our offices in Lancing, Sussex.

Our experienced and dedicated team
In 2020 our team in Lancing have project managed, delivered and helped set up production lines in Rieti Italy, Pennsylvania USA and BeiJing China, delivering over 88 new injection mould tools within this project time line from February 2020 – August 2020.

About WSM Plastics
WSM Plastics Ltd are not only a toolmaking, injection moulder, we are a team of skilled, dedicated and loyal people. We pride ourselves on finding solutions to every problem that our customers face from helping with material selection, design refinements to delivering entire production lines.

WSM Plastics work in and supply many industries from marine, medical, aerospace (defence and domestic), oil and gas, dispensing (soap and sanitisers) and optical. With our ability to move quickly and efficiently we are able to support our customers to meet the ever changing demands of their market place.

Being part of a group of companies with 22 subsidiaries worldwide we are ideally placed to help you get your product into the market place. If you want to learn more about what WSM can offer please get in touch with Martin Jones, Technical Sales Director at WSM.


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What to Consider When Choosing an Injection Mould Material

When selecting an injection mould material, it is important to have a general understanding of plastic material properties and the standards used to measure performance to select the right material for the part.

Things to consider

The intended use of the part being produced plays a big aspect on which material to select. Will it be used for high impact applications? Within harsh environments like the aerospace industry, outdoors, sunlight, damp or underwater conditions temperature and UV resistance should be taken into consideration. If it isn’t considered, the part may not be fit for use or last as long as intended or required.


Do the parts have complex internal features or tight tolerance requirements?

Cosmetic Requirements

Does the part need to be completely transparent, or a certain colour? Colour matching may be required if your part needs to match others in an assembly.

Finishing standards, such as VDI, provide standard references for a surface finish you should specify for your parts, ranging from optically-polished SPI-A1, through coarse matte SPI-D3. Mould texturing, such as those defined by MoldTech is another option to consider cosmetic faces

Material Hardness and flexibility

How hard does the material need to be? The hardness is also referred to as Shore hardness, named after Albert Shore, who developed the durometer scale used to measure material hardness. On the contrary, flexible material has the ability to bend under stress without breaking easily. Stiffness, however, is the resistance to bending under stress.

Regulatory Compliances, requiring compliances can quickly increase the cost of the part, which is why it’s important to evaluate what is needed. Does your part need to be food-safe? Does it need to meet FDA requirements or does it need to be medical-grade, ISO, electrical compliance, etc?

Materials can also be reinforced with fibres, rubber particles, minerals or flame-retardant agents to modify their physical properties. For example, fibreglass can be mixed with the pellets at ratios of 10%, 15% or 30% resulting in parts with higher stiffness.

Secondary operations

Over moulded parts react to chemicals differently to standard moulding. Consideration of the chemical reactivity and heat deflection temperatures of the 2 materials used is an important step. Will it need further machining operations? (Most hard plastics can be machined, with some variation in difficulty. Softer thermoset plastics require specialized tooling to support the parts during machining, and filled plastics can be abrasive and decrease cutting tool life.)


Expected product lifetime

How long do you expect this part to be used? Do you expect it to expire after 5 years, 25 years, etc? The type of material used is crucial to this.

Commodity resins

Commodity resins are easy to process and are inexpensive. They are often found in common mass-produced items like product packaging.

Engineering resins

Engineering resins are more expensive, but offer better strength and resistance to chemicals and environmental exposure. WSM excel in the processing of engineering grade resins.

To find out more about the services on offer from WSM Plastics, contact us today and a member of the team will support you with your needs.

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Supporting customers during the COVID-19 pandemic

WSM Plastics are toolmakers and plastic injection moulding specialists, manufacturing bespoke plastic components and products for their customers. Their customer base includes manufacturers of soap and sanitising dispensers, medical components and dosing pumps. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have experienced an increased demand from their customers in the hygiene and medical industry to supply them with essential plastic components for dosing and dispensing equipment. To adapt to the increased demand, the decision was made in March 2020 to change the production pattern. The team managed to successfully adapt within three days from being a company that worked two shifts, five days a week to a company that has a full 24/6 production to support their customers with essential components.

Managing increased production demand

As a manufacturer of bespoke customer products and components, WSM Plastics has been working tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to meet the increased demand from customers requiring specific medical device injection molding for essential components for sanitising and dispensing systems.

We are producing many components for our customers in the hygiene industry. The plastic components we produce are used by them to manufacture hand sanitising dispensers, dispensing pumps and soap dispensers.” Martin Jones, Technical Sales Director comments.

At the beginning of the UK lockdown government guidelines stated that companies involved in the production of cleaning and hygiene products would be classified as key services. This meant that WSM Plastics could continue to manufacture components for their customers. In March 2020 WSM Plastics adapted 80% of their manufacturing facility to focus on the production of sanitising and dispensing systems, whilst still supporting their customers from other sectors with the remaining 20% capacity.

Teamwork and staff training is key

The company has continuously invested in staff training, giving its workforce the skills to react quickly to changes. Within three working days and commitment from their team, they were able to go from a company that worked two shifts five days/week to a company that went into full 24/6 production. Their warehouse facilities were converted into new assembly lines. 50% of the customer care team volunteered to work in the warehouse to help dispatch 60 pallets of goods every day, and two team members volunteered and were trained to get their forklift license to help with the work in the warehouse. Martin Jones comments: “Everyone from customer care, sales, design, the tool room and warehouse all have been working extra hours and weekends to fulfill customer orders. It is great to see that everyone is so committed.”

As a plastic injection moulding manufacturer, it is key to keep all the tools serviced. The tool room team have also been working additional hours and weekends to keep the 350 tools fully serviced.

WSM Plastics is part of a bigger group of companies and they sent some of their mould setters to facilities within the group to help support their transition to have a 24/6 production.

Production output

Since the beginning of March 2020, WSM Plastics have produced 12 million components that were sent to customers worldwide from their premises in Lancing. They produced 150,000 fully assembled and working sanitiser dispensers dispatched in June alone. Additionally, they produced and dispatched 100,000 pump assemblies to their customers in May/June.

Adapting to challenging times

With environmental factors being a priority for customers, especially sourcing sustainable products, there has been a higher demand for recycled plastic injection molding which WSM Plastics has had to adapt to. Along with this, managing a manufacturing facility during the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging but WSM Plastic managed to increase their production capabilities through teamwork, leadership, flexible processes and commitment of all their employees. The coming months will continue to bring challenges but they will also bring opportunities to optimise work processes, operations and technology.

About WSM Plastics Ltd.

WSM Plastics is a professional toolmaker and plastic injection moulding specialist of commodity plastics to high-end engineering polymers. They offer their customers complete solutions from product concept, prototyping, toolmaking, plastic injection moulding to the manufacturing of the final product along with short run injection molding, all under one roof.

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The latest brochure from WSM Plastics

WSM Plastics are professional toolmakers and plastic injection moulding specialists of commodity plastics to high-end engineering polymers.

At WSM Plastics, we take your product idea from concept to creation. We adopt a unique approach focused on individual project development, by offering comprehensive and tailored services.

Here’s our brochure covering the different services we offer:

WSM Plastics brochure

Contact us to discuss any of the services we offer.

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