By Kevin Batty, General Manager
Toolmaking is an art.
It requires knowledge, skill and a methodical approach.
It also helps if you have a passion for making things and inquisitive nature for how things work.
Despite the fact Paragon Toolmaking has been in existence since 1969, we still get asked a couple of questions on a very frequent basis:
What is a toolmaker?
And what does a toolmaker actually do?
The short version:
A toolmaker is a highly-skilled engineer who makes the precision tools which manufacturers use to create their parts or products.
The in-depth toolmaker definition:
A toolmaker is a highly-skilled engineer who is responsible for making precision tools, dies, moulds, jigs, holding devices and guides. These are used to make the manufacturing process easier when making products or the parts for products, in the most efficient way possible.
The materials that a toolmaker works with are usually metals or specialist alloys. But can also include a wide range of none ferrous materials such as plastic and brass and copper alloys.
A toolmaker works in a machinist shop, where they use conventional and specialist computer-controlled machinery (CNC) as well as traditional hand tools to manufacture highly-accurate tool components.
As well as supporting the production of new tools, they are responsible for repairing, maintaining and improving tools, when required.
A toolmaker’s job is varied and they will eventually acquire a solid understanding of several different technical production processes.
A typical toolmaker’s role and responsibilities include:
At Paragon Toolmaking, we are committed to continually investing in our staff development. However, it is important for our people to have a good academic grounding.
The key skills toolmakers require include:
To pursue a toolmaking career, you need a GCSE in maths, English and Science (Grade 4 to 9) and be willing to work towards a Level 3 diploma. The most popular ways to get into the industry is through a specially-tailored apprenticeship.
At Paragon Toolmaking, we are proud that just over 60 per cent of our current workforce came through our own apprenticeship scheme, which is run in partnership with Hull Training and Humberside Engineering Training Association Ltd (HETA).
However, every member of our staff did start their working life as an apprentice before joining us.
There are also a variety of college courses available which can prepare people for life as a toolmaker. But in my opinion, the apprenticeship route is the best way to build up practical hands-on skills at the same time as acquiring the necessary technical knowledge.
If you need to make an essential part but you don’t know how to do it, we’re the toolmakers for you!
Our expertise is relied upon by SMEs and big-name global organisations because we take care of the entire process - from concept and prototype to design and manufacture.
Since 1969, parts that have been manufactured by our tools have been used by Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Land Rover, Siemens, Aston Martin, Ideal Boilers, Volvo, BMW, and many more.
Most toolmaking projects start with a specific requirement (or problem) and our specialist skills are required to find the most appropriate solution. Sometimes I liken the role to that of a detective because of the need to think methodically and analyse various outcomes until you arrive at the right result.
You can quickly acquire the necessary skills and knowledge, but the actual art of toolmaking is perfected over a lifetime.
Whether you need a small single operation die, a transfer tool or a large multi-stage progression tool; we have the knowledge and ability to successfully carry out the job.
To discover if we can make the tool you need, upload your design and we'll do the rest!
Our experienced and highly-skilled engineers will evaluate its form, fit and function and help you determine how to make it.
If you’d like talk about your project in detail, please call 01482 497777 for an informal discussion.