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Old Chippy

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Hi all. I don't know if this has been discussed before but there is a company near me that puts Union flags on its machines and labels them as Made in UK. I by chance was talking to a guy who works for them. I won't name the company in case the firm may be able to tell who might have told me. Anyway. It just came up in our conversation that all the components are made in China and shipped to the UK and the assembled here. Should these machines actually be described as Built in the UK? It's no problem to me but I am just curious at to how manufacturers can use Made in or Built in. Thanks.
 

Yorkieguy

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You're talking of Charnwood. You are quite correct in saying that they emblazon their machinery with Union Flags, and you can be forgiven for believing that they label them as 'Made in Britain' because that is the inference. I made the same assumption about ten years ago when I bought a small bandsaw from them which had a label on it stating: 'Charnwood. Manufacturing machinery at its best' incorporating a large Union Flag and 'Great Britain'.

We could argue semantics about what the term 'Charnwood - Manufacturing machinery at its best' means. One interpretation - the one that I took - is that Charnwood are manufacturing machinery at its best' and the term 'Great Britain' and the union flag, meant that they manufactured the machinery in Great Britain. I think that is the interpretation that most would take.

Another interpretation might be that it isn't machinery that they themselves have manufactured, but is 'machinery at its best for the use of manufacturing by users'.

When I took delivery of my little bandsaw, it clearly wasn't made in Britain, but in China. The blade wouldn't track, the wheels weren't balanced, some of the welding was crude and it needed a lot of fettling. I could just have sent it back, complained that I'd been misled, but I didn't. Had I done so, I'm sure they would have aimed to resolve matters amicably, given that it's a family business. But life is too short. That one instance destroyed my trust in the company, and trust is like virginity - when it's gone it's gone.

I was never happy with the bandsaw and after a couple of years I sold it and bought an Axminster.

It's worth taking a look at the labelling of some Charnwood offerings.

On the bandsaw at the link below, you will see the prominent Union Flag, but look closer at the wording: 'Fitted with a high quality British made ground blade'. So the only thing that are actually claiming is that the blade - a consumable item which thus, has no guarantee, and amounts to no more than 5% of the purchase price - is British made. I'll leave it to others to decide whether that merits a prominent Union Flag, and whether potential purchases can be forgiven for thinking that the whole machine is British made:

Charnwood 8” Woodworking Bandsaw – Charnwood

On this one, you will see that the label shows company name, and beneath it 'Great Britain and the Union Flag'. If I didn't know better, at first sight, I would assume that the label inferred 'Made in Britain' (albeit it doesn't actually say that as such), and I don't think that is an unreasonable assumption:

Charnwood 12” Premium Woodworking Bandsaw – Charnwood

It's worth looking at the 'About Us' history of the company:

"The heart of the business has always been in designing new products, striking a balance between offering the latest technologies and maintaining the tradition of high quality our customers have come to expect from the Charnwood brand. We still do the research and design elements of the process here in Leicester, but most of our manufacturing has now been transferred to low-cost centres in Asia, where we are able to produce competitively priced, high quality machinery as demanded by the British public".

About Us – Charnwood

When they say that they're 'able to produce', (semantics again), do they mean 'procure' or do they mean they themselves do the manufacturing in their own factory Asia, or do they outsource (buy in) generic equipment?

That's a rhetorical question to which I'm not seeking an answer.

I bear no malice towards the company, which is a family business operating in difficult times and I wish them well. I'm casting no aspersions on their equipment, or their service. I did not give them an opportunity to respond to my concerns about the bandsaw I bought ten years ago, or about what I considered to be the misleading use of the Union Flag and the term 'Great Britain'. All I will say is that from a marketing perspective, in my it is more likely to harm, rather than enhance, their reputation.
 
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Distinterior

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This subject of Made / Built in Britain and Charnwood has come up on this Forum previously.......I'll see if I can find the thread I'm thinking of and put up a link.
 

Richard_C

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I've got a cooks knife from Waitrose, "precision ground in Sheffield", not made there.

The EU has strict rules on local content. To avail themselves of tariff free trade, UK companies have to show that a certain percentage of the item is actually made here. I don't know what that figure is but if its by value it might be possible to buy in Chinese components and argue that a significant proportion of the cost is UK assembly.

Those local content rules are one reason why there is focus on UK battery production for electric cars. It is such a high proportion of the cost, if we have to import batteries then cars will fail the local content rules and attract big tariffs if sent to EU countries. Nissan, Toyota and a few others might shut up shop in the UK unless we get a "gigafactory".

I will try to find proper information on made in Britain rules, but I suspect you can stick a picture of a flag on anything as long as you are careful with the words you use.
 

Thingybob

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This is the cost of globalisation , Maybe it should read Made on Earth but we do need Universal quality control and standards and competiveness should not be at the end users expence
 

Old Chippy

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You're talking of Charnwood. You are quite correct in saying that they emblazon their machinery with Union Flags, and you can be forgiven for believing that they label them as 'Made in Britain' because that is the inference. I made the same assumption about ten years ago when I bought a small bandsaw from them which had a label on it stating: 'Charnwood. Manufacturing machinery at its best' incorporating a large Union Flag and 'Great Britain'.

We could argue semantics about what the term 'Charnwood - Manufacturing machinery at its best' means. One interpretation - the one that I took - is that Charnwood are manufacturing machinery at its best' and the term 'Great Britain' and the union flag, meant that they manufactured the machinery in Great Britain. I think that is the interpretation that most would take.

Another interpretation might be that it isn't machinery that they themselves have manufactured, but is 'machinery at its best for the use of manufacturing by users'.

When I took delivery of my little bandsaw, it clearly wasn't made in Britain, but in China. The blade wouldn't track, the wheels weren't balanced, some of the welding was crude and it needed a lot of fettling. I could just have sent it back, complained that I'd been misled, but I didn't. Had I done so, I'm sure they would have aimed to resolve matters amicably, given that it's a family business. But life is too short. That one instance destroyed my trust in the company, and trust is like virginity - when it's gone it's gone.

I was never happy with the bandsaw and after a couple of years I sold it and bought an Axminster.

It's worth taking a look at the labelling of some Charnwood offerings.

On the bandsaw at the link below, you will see the prominent Union Flag, but look closer at the wording: 'Fitted with a high quality British made ground blade'. So the only thing that are actually claiming is that the blade - a consumable item which thus, has no guarantee, and amounts to no more than 5% of the purchase price - is British made. I'll leave it to others to decide whether that merits a prominent Union Flag, and whether potential purchases can be forgiven for thinking that the whole machine is British made:

Charnwood 8” Woodworking Bandsaw – Charnwood

On this one, you will see that the label shows company name, and beneath it 'Great Britain and the Union Flag'. If I didn't know better, at first sight, I would assume that the label inferred 'Made in Britain' (albeit it doesn't actually say that as such), and I don't think that is an unreasonable assumption:

Charnwood 12” Premium Woodworking Bandsaw – Charnwood

It's worth looking at the 'About Us' history of the company:

"The heart of the business has always been in designing new products, striking a balance between offering the latest technologies and maintaining the tradition of high quality our customers have come to expect from the Charnwood brand. We still do the research and design elements of the process here in Leicester, but most of our manufacturing has now been transferred to low-cost centres in Asia, where we are able to produce competitively priced, high quality machinery as demanded by the British public".

About Us – Charnwood

When they say that they're 'able to produce', (semantics again), do they mean 'procure' or do they mean they themselves do the manufacturing in their own factory Asia, or do they outsource (buy in) generic equipment?

That's a rhetorical question to which I'm not seeking an answer.

I bear no malice towards the company, which is a family business operating in difficult times and I wish them well. I'm casting no aspersions on their equipment, or their service. I did not give them an opportunity to respond to my concerns about the bandsaw I bought ten years ago, or about what I considered to be the misleading use of the Union Flag and the term 'Great Britain'. All I will say is that from a marketing perspective, in my it is more likely to harm, rather than enhance, their reputation.
Thanks for replying to my post. I am actually talking about another company that says (Made in UK) and not Charnwood. So there must be lots of firms who do this kind of marketing. I wonder just how many people have been caught out by this after hoping they may be supporting UK companies and UK jobs.
 

yetloh

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Certainly agree with the trust point. I have a "Felder" bandsaw which is actually made in Italy rather than Austria and not by Felder, but I knew that when I bought it and it is a high quality product and the felder people were quite open about it, but one couls argue that the badging is misleading. Lots of shades of ethics in this area.

Jim
 

Distinterior

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Certainly agree with the trust point. I have a "Felder" bandsaw which is actually made in Italy rather than Austria and not by Felder, but I knew that when I bought it and it is a high quality product and the felder people were quite open about it, but one couls argue that the badging is misleading. Lots of shades of ethics in this area.

Jim

I bought a Charnwood router table a few years ago, but was under no illusions as to where it was made.....It had a Union Jack and an EU flag on it but at the price I paid for it, I knew it was made in Asia......Quality is not very good ( I'd only give it 3 out of 10), the nuts & bolts are dreadful quality, castings are rough as a badger's rrrs and the paint is peeling off it in various places already.

Considering the price I paid, I couldn't really have expected any better.....
 

Old Chippy

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Back in 1999 I Purchased a Poolewood Euro 1000 woodturning lathe that came in components parts from China. They were assembled at the Stockbury Kent workshop. It is a very good Lathe. I remember the Electrical Technician telling me that Terry the owner removed all the metal plates that give people information about the motor power etc. He said he told the owner that they legally had to be on there, so he had new ones fitted that never mentioned where they came from. I new the lathes were good though because the two woodturning clubs I was in used them all the time. Our clubs met upstairs in Poolewoods factory.
The lathe is still as good as new and now I use for rebuilding old Split cane fishing rods. It's good when sanding the cork handles to shape
 

Spectric

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I am immediately suspicous of anything claiming to be made in the uk, I always doubt the claim because we know there is so much rebranding going on and you only have to look around to see that nearly everything is made in china and just how difficult it is to find something made in the UK. Most UK manufactured products will be fairly niche markets like Benchdogs and FC tools but even then I dare say the raw material is probably Chinese as they are by far the worlds largest producer of aluminium at 36,000,000 tons a year.

What I find so annoying is that we think of Chinese products as inferior but it is the suppliers like Charnwood and the rest who are dictating what quality they want so as to max there profit margins. If they would reduce there profit margins and we were willing to pay a bit more then we would see a different level of quality, asian manufacturing will deliver what is asked for and people like the chinese who have a space program cannot be accused of only making tack, we are blaming the wrong people for out quality problems.
 

thetyreman

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people want stuff to be made in the UK again, but reality is we don't have infastructure in place, then even if we could go back to manufacturing in the UK again everything would cost a lot more, people are too cheap to pay what it'd cost, so we outsource slavery to third world communist countries then complain about the quality control, it's hilarious in a way.
 

Distinterior

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people want stuff to be made in the UK again, but reality is we don't have infastructure in place, then even if we could go back to manufacturing in the UK again everything would cost a lot more, people are too cheap to pay what it'd cost, so we outsource slavery to third world communist countries then complain about the quality control, it's hilarious in a way.

I couldn't agree more!
It all comes down to managing your expectations......I could have purchased the UJK router table from Axminster Tools and paid a hell of a lot more for it and my expectations of quality would have been a lot higher, but as long as these so called "British" manufacturers continue to wave the Union Jack at us, but source products based upon budget rather than quality, this will continue to happen.
 

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If components are sourced from another country of origin and used to build a finished product, technically that end product should be described as 'Assembled in the UK'. Built would infer something beyond simply bringing those parts together.

One thing that gets missed in the UK badge on product thing is that quite often it's connected to grant funding as opposed to any marketing guff. UK Gov does a fair bit of funding for Made in UK initiatives and this sometimes requires little more than a carefully worded sticker to be eligible for those funds.
 
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Noel

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If components are sourced from another country of origin and used to build a finished product, technically that end product should be described as 'Assembled in the UK'. Built would infer something beyond simply bringing those parts together.

One thing that gets missed in the UK badge on product thing is that quite often it's connected to grant funding as opposed to any marketing guff. UK Gov does a fair bit of funding for Made in UK initiatives and this sometimes requires little more than a carefully worded sticker to be eligible for those funds.

Don't know if Charnwood export much but would be interesting to see the document on Rules of Origin when required.
 

Distinterior

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I've just had a thought......I mentioned Axminster UJK in a previous post......Does anyone know for certain that all their products ARE MADE in the UK...?
Do they state it as a fact or are they as ambiguous as a lot of other manufacturers?

Edit.
I've just had a look on Axminsters site and it states " the vast majority of UJK's products are designed, developed and manufactured in the UK "
Not 100% of them though...
 

Old Chippy

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I think most machines at Axminster are Asian made along with a lot of tools. I ordered a centre steady and had to wait 8 weeks for delivery as they were coming from China. I know they said the original 950 lathe was made to their exacting standards in a HIGH QUALITY !!! Factory in China so I can only suppose that a lot of their other machines are, but I don't know for sure. A lot of their machines are now under a different name so cannot comment on those.
 

Distinterior

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I think most machines at Axminster are Asian made along with a lot of tools. I ordered a centre steady and had to wait 8 weeks for delivery as they were coming from China. I know they said the original 950 lathe was made to their exacting standards in a HIGH QUALITY !!! Factory in China so I can only suppose that a lot of their other machines are, but I don't know for sure. A lot of their machines are now under a different name so cannot comment on those.

I knew that most, if not all Axminster branded machines/power tools were made out in Asia, but was was referring specifically to the UJK products brand...
 

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So whenever possible should we not fully support companies that both design and manufacture in the UK so that they can then continue to develop more innovative products which can only be a good thing for all of us. If given the choice I would rather support people doing this than someone who is just buying in and adding a markup but I know this is not always going to be possible. Wealdons I believe are UK manufactured unless anyone knows different, the AUK brand from the woodworkers workshop originates in the UK but manufactured where? and do we really have much choice in this department, Benchdogs I think are all UK made as they have invested heavily in machines Our Machines and FC tools who are proud to state Clyde built, all these people give great customer service which I find important when it comes to needing support.
 
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