Testimonial: “Working with BEC Group has been a great experience, on arrival I found them a welcoming team with desire to achieve what needed to be done and make me feel comfortable with the process I had ahead of me. The project I arrived with was a complex design, but the guys Mike and Paul were willing to take it on with ultimate confidence, although I’m sure a few hairs may have fallen out along the way, we got there in the end.. There were multiple layers to the tooling design and I was blown away by how technical and precise the methods were that are used to form an injection mouldings tool. The team have a strong desire to ensure that precision and quality is achieved and that is exactly where we ended up, the V Plane golf training aid is looking fantastic and it works exactly as it should. We have received only 5* reviews for the training aid with many a mentions about the quality of the manufactured product. I’m very grateful to be working with this well organised and functioning business for the development of my own”

Mitchell Bligh, Founder of V Plane

Industry: Golf, golf training aids

Service: Design for manufacture, tool design, material selection

Our Partners: Simple Design Works is a West Midlands-based product design agency specialising in human-centred and strategic design. We worked with Simple Design Works who introduced us to V Plane. V Plane is a UK-based SME focused on developing and retailing specialist golfing aids.

Our Mission: BEC Group were initially approached by Simple Design Works to work on a design for manufacture for a golfing aid project. Mitchell Bligh developed the concept of the V Plane golfing aid as a keen golfer himself, to help with short-game training. To design the aid, Mitchell worked with esteemed product designers Simple Design Works. After developing a suitable prototype, Simple Design Works got in touch with BEC Group to help optimise the design for plastic injection moulding.

BEC Solution: Once Simple Design Works produced initial CAD models to capture the desired functionality and user experience, we involved our toolmaker to discuss the design for manufacture detail, and how we can save costs whilst maintaining quality. We agreed on a number of design optimisations with the engineering team at Simple Design Works to ensure that we can manufacture the product to the required standard, without compromising on the user experience.  These tweaks included: removing several support features and reducing the amount of interior detailing, which are better suited when carrying out injection moulding. We worked alongside the Simple Design Works team through a number of design refinements to ensure that the design is ready for tooling.  Once a full design was completed, Mitchell continued working with us at BEC to injection mould his product.

A golfer using the V Plane Golf Training Aid

A golfer using the V Plane Golf Training Aid

The BEC tooling department produced a suite of four tools (and five parts) for the V Plane project; the main body which works to connect the alignment stick to the club, two rubber sleeves which fit between the main body and the rear lock arm to grip the golf club, the rear lock arm which screws into the main body and the horizontal alignment stick which ensures the golfer’s club stays in a parallel straight line to the golfer’s body when hitting the golf ball. A set of anodized aluminium screws holds the part together.

We explored multiple wall thickness configurations with the Simple Design Works team to ensure that cooling, ejection, and other manufacturing requirements were addressed. BEC used their expertise to design a small amount of draft angle onto the core of the tool to achieve the desired finish. This was an unusually shaped sliding core tool that required over lapping shut offs on the top of one core to mate with the second core.

Several detailed trials took place to achieve a material grade that give stability, strength, and high flow speed as well as the required gloss finish. Both the main body and rear lock arm were produced in black ABS. The front and rear rubber sleeves were produced in a two-cavity tool to reduce costs. Moulded in black santoprene, this TPE was used to increase friction (over the ABS of the main body) and therefore give an improved grip to the golf club.

The alignment stick was produced in a two-cavity tool in a bright orange ABS after colour sampling.

Initial samples were tweaked slightly due to slight distortion in the alignment stick, due to the coring out of the alignment stick on one side but not the other. To prevent this from occurring a cooling jig was implemented to cool the stick evenly.

In order to screw the rear lock arm onto the main body, inserts were required. These were manually heat staked as a secondary operation post-moulding. The alternative of manually loading inserts was ruled out due to the complexity of the tool making it incredibly difficult.

In initial designs, the V Plane logo was indented into the moulding. For reduced cycle times when moulding, BEC suggested it would simplify toolmaking to change the logo to stand proud of the tool and from the final moulding. This also allowed the opportunity to make the V Plane branding stand out further by adding hot foiling. This decorative process involved pressing a layer of metallic foil onto a raised element of the moulding with a heated stamping die, quickly transferring the foil onto the moulding. This resulted in more obvious branding; and provided high-quality, long-lasting results.

In order to screw on the rear lock arm, inserts were required on the main body. These were manually heat staked as a secondary operation post-moulding.

Result: BEC produced four tools for the five parts of the project: the main body, two rubber sleeves, the rear lock arm, and the alignment stick (produced in a two-cavity tool). Once tooling had been tweaked to perfect each part, production began. Secondary operations post-moulding included heat staking inserts and decorative hot foiling.

The BEC team were delighted to work with Simple Design Works to help Mitchell at V Plane make his product a reality. Mitchell’s passion for the project and keenness to make every aspect spot on made for a brilliant working relationship, we wish him the very best in taking over the golf aid market!

If you’re looking for a UK manufacturer to help work with you across design, tooling or plastic injection moulding, please get in touch on 01425 613131 or email.