Dyson Appliances Ltd. plans to switch production of its two-drum washing machine from the United Kingdom to Malaysia, cutting 65 jobs. The decision also is likely to mean less work for two custom injection molders in England: Stadium Plastics Ltd. and McKechnie Plastic Components.
Dyson has yet to decide how much molding it will perform in-house in Jahore, Malaysia, and how much it will outsource.
``We just cannot say at the moment whether we will have parts produced in the U.K. [by custom molders] or have them supplied from elsewhere,'' a spokeswoman said. But Dyson does expect to continue outsourcing components from around the world, she stressed.
Malmesbury, England-based Dyson already shifted production of vacuum cleaners to a plant in Jahore last year. The company moved 36 presses, 20 of them barely a year old, from Malmesbury. The move ``improved quality and cost effectiveness,'' allowed the firm to expand production significantly and enabled it to launch the product in the United States, the spokeswoman said. A year after the launch, the bagless cyclone cleaner is being sold through 3,000 outlets across America, Dyson said.
Stadium Plastics of Hartlepool, England, supplies Dyson with door hinges and handles for the Contrarotator washing machine. The parts are injection molded at Stadium's plant in Hinckley, England.
``Moving production of the washing machine to the Far East will certainly affect us, although our work for Dyson is worth less than £100,000 ($115,000) a year,'' said Stadium Chief Executive Officer John Pearson.
Pearson sees the Dyson move as simply another example of British manufacturers, forced by high costs and regulation, to switch production abroad to low-cost regions like Eastern Europe and Asia.
McKechnie's plant in Pickering, England, makes Dyson washing machine fascias, soap boxes and drums in a £1 million ($1.15 million) annual contract. The company expects to keep the drum work, which it does on a 1,600-ton Negri Bossi press.
``We will not replace this kind of work overnight, but we will do so eventually,'' a McKechnie spokesman said.