CINCINNATI - Seeking to end industry speculation after its purchase of D-M-E Co. last year, Cincinnati Milacron Inc. has issued a statement saying it has no plans to make finished molds. D-M-E makes standard mold bases and other components, such as hot-runner parts. When Milacron spent $260 million for D-M-E last year, competitors wondered if Milacron has plans to make turnkey systems - providing a customer with a complete package of injection molding machines and molds - to compete against Canada's Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. Husky has carved out a sizable market supplying both molds and machines designed to make plastic packaging. But that won't happen, Milacron said.
In the statement, Harold Faig, group vice president of plastics machinery worldwide, called ``erroneous'' any speculation that Milacron would use D-M-E to enter moldmaking and the business of turnkey molding systems. Cavity and core machining, and the production of finished molds, are not in Mila-cron's future.
``We will not enter a business where customer satisfaction can be a moving target, not to mention that this would put us into competition with D-M-E's customers and our own machine tool customers - the moldmakers,'' Faig said.
Faig stressed that D-M-E will remain an independent brand.
Milacron is the largest U.S.-owned manufacturer of plastics equipment, selling $570 million worth of plastics machinery in 1995. D-M-E, with annual sales of $175 million, is the largest U.S. mold equipment maker. Obser-vers estimate D-M-E, based in Madison Heights, Mich., has 50 percent of the North American market. Besides plastics machinery, Milacron also makes metalworking equipment and machine tools. Faig said the D-M-E acquisition follows Milacron's corporatewide strategy to expand into consumable products that generate a steady cash flow that can offset cyclical swings in demand for industrial machinery. Con-sumable products are those that are used, then replenished.
``The role of D-M-E in the Plastics Machinery Group will mirror what Milacron has done with the cutting tool companies it acquired for the metalworking side of its business,'' Faig said. ``These tooling companies - U.S.-based Valenite and Germany-based Widia - have their own customers, sales forces and marketing orbits, separate from our machine tool group.''