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Tooling Design: How to Ensure Reliability from Prototype to Production

Built to last, our high accuracy, precision tooling is all designed and built in house. With a fully equipped toolroom we manufacture and design tooling to meet our customer demands. Key to the reliability, accuracy and quality of our tooling is in the design, development and implementation of the standard modular tool format which allows us to standardise the design thus resulting in significantly reduced lead time and improved repeatability.

Choosing a Tooling Design Provider and Manufacturer

When choosing a tool designer/manufacturer to work with, ensure that they check the following boxes:

  • Do they frequently review designs and consult with their customers to establish expectations, key specifications and concerns?
  • Do they have an extensive knowledge of tooling design/manufacture processes and requirements?
  • Do they have the right certifications?
  • Do they have design and manufacturing (stamping and plating) all under one roof?
  • Can they handle tooling transfers?

It is important to consider these factors when choosing a tooling design provider/manufacturer to ensure process and end product reliability.

The Design Pro

  • Design / Prototype –  Working with our team of engineers we take your concept through to final product and tool design, either direct from specified drawings or through a series of concept and prototype development stages for product functionality and best manufacturing processes
  • Tooling – Our standard modular tool format which allows us to standardise the design process, resulting in significantly reduced lead time and improved repeatability.
  • Production – With 22 high speed Bruderer presses capable of running on a three shift system we have the ability to produce over 650 million parts per month.
  • Plating – We currently have 8 in-house electroplating lines with the capability of plating stamping components reel to reel, as well as pre-plating of continuous coil material for subsequent stamping.
  • Moulding – We work closely with a UK based plastic injection moulding company who deliver a full range of moulding services.
  • Assembly – Through integration into the customer assembly process we can design and supply a number of options for point of use assembly

The Whole Process Under One Roof

Specifying stamped, plated and assembled components from a single-source supplier offers you vital benefits:

  • higher quality and improved consistency – one supplier is responsible and accountable for quality (avoiding the problem of separate suppliers can blaming each other for NCRs);
  • greater efficiencies – ensuring you get better value; higher quality components at keener prices;
  • faster delivery – by eliminating transportation between suppliers/factories;
  • less administration – you deal with one reliable supplier, reducing paperwork and the cost of dealing with it.


All Batten and Allen tooling is made ‘in-house’

We are able to offer high accuracy modular design for high volume and SMED activities, as well as, bespoke ‘standard’ tooling for high accuracy mid volume.

Investing in an expensive progression tool without component proving and testing is a daunting prospect for our customers so at Batten & Allen we offer a prototyping service to ease these worries.

We can offer a complete service which includes:

  • Wire eroded prototypes
  • Etched blanks
  • Tool room hand formed parts
  • Single impression pressed parts from modular tooling

All of the above offer the customer a low cost fast delivery option of samples for testing before a full production tool is required.

If a more representative sample of the finished part is required we can utilise single impression modular tooling or single cavity mould tools.

At this stage our experienced engineers can offer design and material selection ideas to develop a component that is functional and cost effective.

State-of-the-art Wire Erosion Facility

We have a state of the art wire erosion facility, which helps keep the press tooling and manufacture of precision stamped parts under one roof for our customers. We have 5 machines including 3 CUT 1000 machines working to an accuracy of less than 1 micron with the capability to run all machines 24 hours 7 days per week under lights out conditions. Having our own dedicated wire erosion facility also helps us to turn around volume metal pressings faster for our customers, with the added benefits of cost saving.

By utilising the benefits of CAD design, allied to wire erosion technology, we achieve an efficient progression between stages of production in the design and development of our tool-making. Working closely with clients in the design and development of their components is part of that process. This helps us to minimise waste in strip design and select the most effective materials.

Tooling lead times have also been significantly reduced due to the ability to select ‘on screen’ only the relevant data for a specific tooling task from a complex design. This data is then transferred directly to each wire eroder, eliminating time-consuming re-drawing.

Furthermore, by standardising our modular design of tooling, through the use of stock item parts, we are able to reduce our lead times even further and increase our production efficiency. With these increased efficiencies we are also able to implement waste reduction practices and reduce costs.


Continual Improvement

To continually build on our world class tooling reliability we have recently installed 2 new HAAS Machining Centres into our operations.

The new high speed Machining Centres will not only help increase accuracy, but also reduce lead times significantly for multi-sided and complex parts, helping us to greatly reduce lead times of high quality tooling, precision modular tooling for our customers with the added benefits of cost saving and productivity.

The new machines will also allow us to start the stamping process sooner whilst simultaneously increasing production output, therefore helping to achieve our overall focus of providing industry leading Engineering Reliability to all customers who use Batten & Allen.

Faster And More Precise Stamping – With Lower Tooling Costs

High speed, high accuracy stamping ensures you get better quality components – manufactured and delivered quickly to meet your ‘just-in-time’ requirements:

  • 22 Bruderer high-speed (up to 1,800 spm) presses stamp very small close-pitch components with thicknesses ranging from 10 μm to 2 mm;
  • These presses are up to five times faster than the machines they replaced. Running on a three-shift system, we can press up to 650 million components per month;
  • Closed-door controlled-climate conditions enable the production of components for medical devices, with presses running at 1,400 spm under fine-tolerance conditions;
  • Advanced processes ensure that the surface of every stamped component is free of oil and debris for higher quality plating that delivers better and more dependable solderability;
  • Our design and manufacture facility helps you to incorporate the pressed parts into your processes.

Real-time Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) monitoring – the gold standard for measuring manufacturing productivity – ensures optimum efficiency. It is the best single metric for eliminating waste and improving machines’ productivity. And by designing and manufacturing our own ancillary equipment, we help to ensure quality, effectiveness and efficiency.

Our tooling costs are more competitive because the technology that drives the presses is more advanced. Exceptionally long die life on our Bruderer presses reduces the number of tool changes required – cutting costs and enabling us to pass those savings on to you.


Discover how our precision tooling can help you to improve quality, reduce lead times and improve repeatability.


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