By: Don Loepp
October 16, 2012
FRIEDRICHSHAFEN, GERMANY (Oct. 16, 4:10 p.m. ET) — Executives at Mold-Masters Ltd. might wonder what all the fuss is about the economy, as the company is experience strong growth in 2012 — just not as fast as the company saw in 2010 and 2011.
“We’ve had a great year in 2012, just a little different from 2011,” said Patrick Bennett, president of the company’s European operations.
Without getting specific, he said the Georgetown, Ontario-based supplier of hot-runner technologies and systems experienced growth in the neighborhood of 20 percent in 2010 and 2011, as customers recovered from the Great Recession.
“There was pent-up demand, tools that were aging and needed to be refreshed,” Bennett said in an interview following a news conference at the Fakuma trade show, held Oct. 16-20 in Friedrichshafen. Some companies that had held off on introducing new products picked up the pace starting in 2010.
Growth in 2012 has been in the double digits - - still strong, just not at the same pace, Bennett said.
A key question that suppliers have been hearing at Fakuma is about their expectations for 2013. To be sure, with a slowdown in China’s economy, potential for trouble in Europe, and a U.S. Presidential election, many companies are taking a cautious approach.
As for Mold-Masters, Bennett said the company only looks ahead about three to six months. And the future in the near term is strong.
“Our customers are full,” he said. The automotive market is still seeing strong growth, packaging is doing well, and consumer products are a bright spot – one of the company’s biggest markets in Asia is molders who supply Apple Inc.
Mold-Masters reported strong results for a product it introduced earlier this year at NPE in Orlando, Fla. – Iris coinjection technology.
Iris allows packaging injection molders to make closures with an integrated barrier, replacing glass and metal in some applications that have resisted the appeals of plastics – as well as multi-layer thermoformed containers.
And not all of the applications have been in packaging. Another that he cited: pre-filled syringes.
Bennett also reported that Mold-Masters has already shipped 100 E-Multi units since that product's introduction.
Mold-Masters introduced several new products at Fakuma, including:
• Melt-Cube, a linear side gating system that allows for 20 percent higher pitch density than circular systems and an additional temperature control zone at the gate.
• Sequential valve gate controllers that can control the order and timing of cavity fill for valve-gated hot-runner molds.
• A dual-zone addition to its MT range of temperature controllers, designed primarily for use with hot sprue bushings or similar hot-runner applications.