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Wearable Technology

Technology is everywhere.

Rapidly, technology is becoming a focal point of our everyday lives both work and social, it’s difficult to keep up; smartphones, 3D TVs and the most recent invention, wearable technology – technology that you incorporate into things you wear on a day-to-day basis.

The past two years have seen huge companies such as Apple, Samsung and Nike launch their own versions of wearable technology and the demand for these kinds of products is significantly growing month on month, in fact  it is estimated that worldwide spending on wearable technology will reach $1.4 billion by 2016.

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Wearable technology has had a positive effect on a number of market sectors including product development; however it could be argued that the most affected market sector is healthcare. With wearable technology allowing us to assess our daily calorie burn, sleep patterns and diet, consumers are now more aware of what they need to do in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that by 2016 the wearable technology market, in healthcare, will exceed $2.9 billion which will account for at least half of all wearable technology sales. Additionally in the past six months health and fitness smartphone app usage has increased by 62%.

But, not only are wearables being used by the consumer to assess their lifestyle and fitness, the healthcare industry are beginning to see potential ways to utilise wearables for crucial research.

Earlier this year it was announced that by using big data analytics and wearable devices, Intel had teamed up with the Michael J Fox foundation to improve research and treatment for Parkinson’s disease. It is claimed that the wearable technology worn by the patients, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, will help researchers and physicians measure progressions of the disease by capturing and objectively measuring patient’s actual experiences and thus speed the progress of breakthroughs in drug development, diagnosis and treatment.

All of this highlights the demand for wearable technology not only by consumers but by working professionals also, which effectively has a knock-on effect to the manufacturers of these new technologies to get these products to market.

As a manufacturer, we have extensive experience working alongside numerous healthcare companies on various projects as well as working with product development companies looking to develop projects in a wide range of markets. One in particular and fitting with the subject in question was the design and manufacturing of the Endomondo case – a universal mobile case used for sporting enthusiasts around the world, supporting a GPS tracked social network.

Endomondo

Endomondo is one of the world’s leading online sport communities, based on tracking of sports using phones with GPS. The product aim was to provide protection to high end mobile devices whilst mounted to mountain and racing bikes, allowing the user to track, record and monitor progress in all weather conditions. Today Endomondo’s phone case is used by; walkers, bikers and cyclists in over 200 countries. Read the Endomondo case study here.

As a company we are looking to become more involved in technology related projects and because of this we, over the past year, have invested in new and more advanced machinery and technology which has allowed us to develop our capabilities and cater to a wider audience.

To read more details on what we have to offer here at Omega Plastics, please visit our service page(s); alternatively you can take a look at our two minute promotional video that allows more of a visual idea of the procedures that take place here in our factories.

Significant Growth in Automotive Sector

With an annual turnover of around £60bn, automotive manufacturing accounts for two thirds of the UK’s turnover for the manufacturing sector.  The industry alone employs over 700,000 people and accounting for over 10% of the total UK exports, there is no denying that the automotive industry is booming.

Automotive manufacturing saw a significant dip in 2009, coinciding with the economic recession, manufacturing only 999,460 cars. These numbers are now, however, increasing at a steady pace and it is estimated that by 2017 the UK will be making more than two million cars per year. This is higher than the all-time record of 1.92 million in 1972.

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Here in the north east especially, we have seen some great success in the past two years with regards to automotive manufacturing and retail. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Nissan was ranked number one in the UK in terms of production, producing 501,756 cars in 2013. In addition, a recent article on BDaily stated that Gateshead’s Vertu Motors has announced revenues of over £1 billion.

Here at Omega Plastics we’re constantly striving to develop our capabilities, and so over the past year we have been investing in new and more advance machinery and technology which is helping us cater to a wider audience, in particular within the automotive market sector, which has allowed us to keep on track of an ever growing industry.

To read more details on what we have to offer here at Omega Plastics, please visit our services page(s); alternatively you can take a look at our two minute promotional video that allows more of a visual idea of the procedures that take place here in our factories.

 

 

Northumbria University Visit Confirmed

It has been confirmed that November 18th will see Northumbria University’s product design students visit Omega Plastics’ Teesside Factory.

The visit will allow students to gain a greater insight into what it is like working in a manufacturing company. From initial design stages through to the product assembly process, the students will receive an in depth overview of the processes that occur inside our organisation.

The day itself will be split into two parts. The morning will be spent on the factory floor looking into the different engineering processes of how the products are made and prepared to be put on the market. Here the students will hear from our professional engineers who will talk about their role within the company and the different kinds of technology and machines they have to use in order to carry out their job efficiently.

Gordonstoun-School-Visit-Tooling

The afternoon will allow the students to learn about the different roles in our offices. Talks from our management team will allow students gain an insight into our business operations such as quality, sales and marketing, allowing them to understand how the two sides of our business integrate and work together to create a successful business strategy, and more importantly; a full turnkey solution for the customer.

It is always an honour for us here at Omega Plastics to take part in educational visits, as it not only allows us to help the students with their studies, but educational visits like this help contribute to our corporate social responsibility policy of doing more to help our community and educate our future generation.

For a two minute preview of the prototyping process, view our video here.

Coca-Cola Twist Campaign

World leading drinks brand Coca-Cola recently promoted their new ‘twist cap’ bottle at a University in Columbia, used to ‘bring freshmen closer together’.

Everyone knows Coca-Cola, everyone knows their products, millions drink their drinks but how many understand how their made? The drinks giant rarely publicly endorse any supply chain production findings or new technologies, nor show them in their marketing campaigns – until recently. There’s numerous footage of the facilities on YouTube and other production equipment but usually separate to the campaigns themselves, this also seems to be a common theme across their competitors.

The twist cap

In the latest campaign, it’s the first day of college on a University campus, all the students are new, unaware of their surroundings including the people, soon perhaps to be their new friends. There’s a large red fridge standing alone filled to the brim with bottles of coke, a young chap walks up to it and fetches a bottle, but it won’t open – the cap is screwed on too tight. What the confused student doesn’t know is the caps are specially manufactured to not open unless paired with another identical cap. Now, he’s forced to interact with the nearest person, just to take a sip from the bottle.

Coca-Cola-twist

The process

During the short promotional film on the ‘twist cap’ we see a glimpse of the development process used to make the cap: Plastics Injection Moulding. Approximately half way through we see the mould tool open and eject a number of the newly designed twist cap, but to the average viewer this process won’t mean a lot. Anyone operating outside the plastics industry may find it difficult to understand the process, including the hundreds of hours and design ideas that went into developing this small cap – the perception being the typical cramped manufacturing environment, not the creative environment created within the prototyping process.

As a company providing rapid toolinginjection moulding services to companies of the same size and market as Coca-Cola, we’d love to see more process demonstration within promotional material. Our feedback is that it not only installs an appreciation for the product but provides education to the innovators of the future – whom will need to interact if not buy into these manufacturing processes in the future. For a brief two minute overview of the rapid prototyping cycle, view our video found here.

Alternatively enjoy the twist cap promotion:

Coca-Cola-Video

Omega exhibit at Interplas 2014

From the 30th September – 2nd October Omega Plastics will be exhibiting at Interplas – the UK’s largest plastic industry exhibition, held at the NEC, Birmingham.

The main eventinterplas-dates

The three day event is the only event to cover all of the manufacturing processes, technologies and services within the plastics industry, and with around 400 companies exhibiting and an expected 12,000 visitors it is already on track to be the biggest and most successful Interplas event in recent years. “As the event’s only on a three year cycle, it’s imperative we have a solid presence at the show and demonstrate to customers’ what we’re capable of and the quality service they can expect from a Rapid Tooling company like ourselves” expressed Marketing Manager Jonathan.

 

Drawing on experience

Previous trade shows such as 2013’s TCT show have proved successful for Omega Plastics and it is expected that Interplas will bring more potential business opportunities and strategic partnerships. Having previous experience at Interplas 2011 which was a huge success – has provided us with an understanding of what customers want to see. Across the three days our specialist team will be available on stand H12; highlighted on the floor plan that can be found here. Due to the busy nature of the show, if you have any specific requirements you would like to discuss, we would encourage you to book a time slot to speak to our team. To get in touch please give us a call on +44 (0) 1670 541 890 or to book an appointment please click enquiry link below.

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Omega Plastics share digital marketing know-how with Teesside University students

Jonathan Galloway, Marketing Manager for Omega Plastics—and former student at Teesside University Business School—gave a lecture for current Business Management and Marketing students on Digital Marketing.

The lecture, which was held on April 25th, was to help the students to develop a digital marketing strategy for a business as part of their assignment.

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Future designers of Gordonstoun School visit Omega

Omega Plastics has taken a new approach to educating its future partners by inviting product design students from Gordonstoun School, one of few boarding schools in the UK housing a diverse range of students from over 40 nationalities.

On the 30th of January 2014 Omega played host to 18 students of Gordonstoun School whom study A-level product design. As part of the program all students are required to understand the materials and various manufacturing processes used to produce commercial products. Although the school facilities provide such machinery to demonstrate and create products as part of their assessed projects, there’s a gap between learning & studying design, to transferring the visualised concept into something tangible – especially the decisions made to achieve the required results. After being contacted by Richard Parker – head of Design & Technology at Gordonstoun School, the companies couldn’t pass up the opportunity to educate future design engineers and arranged a full day visit at the 10,000sq ft Blyth facility.

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3D Printing for new projects?

It’s a month into 2014, what 3D Printed projects are we going to see this year?

As technology continues to improve in almost all areas, 3D Printing seems to be coming more popular as the financial demands and access to design resources become more accessible. This technology may have been available since the 1980′s, but only in the last two or three years has it really hit the headlines for consumers. Currently all the credit seems to go to the machine manufacturers driving the prices down to make them more affordable but without the software to enable access to design, they couldn’t be printed.

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New Year New Exhibition

Happy New Year to all, we hope the festive break has been an enjoyable one!

A kick start to the new year for Omega Plastics is the announcement of the trade show we’ll be exhibiting at in 2014. After taking part in 2013′s TCT show at the NEC, we’ve recognised the effectiveness of such smaller events covering the fast-paced 3D Printing & Additive Manufacturing sector. 2013′s TCT show was the first of what could be many for Omega as the show brought a much larger and targeted list of potential business opportunities and strategic partnerships, adding further solidarity to the 2014 campaign.

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Back to British Manufacturing

There’s a constant battle ongoing for the British firms whom turn to low cost manufacturers in the Far East, indicating that UK manufacturing companies simply cannot compete. There’s no short fall in studies to show why British companies compete, so why do we go to China?

As times are tighter for businesses and strategic business functions to effectively squeeze what they can from their purchasing budgets, the Chinese manufacturing route becomes so much more attractive if you can deliver on three key factors: time, moneyquality. In an ideal situation the customers demand their product(s) as soon as possible at the cheapest price with the highest quality. There’s a simple trade off between the three influencing factors but can they affect your business moving forward?

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