CITY OF INDUSTRY, CALIF. — Some suppliers to mold makers have experienced fewer sales in Southern California recently, perhaps indicating a cooling of an earlier red-hot period.
``I think this is normal,'' said John Grimm, owner of AMI Machining Inc. in Irvine. ``This time last year, we were quoting five weeks'' on deliveries. ``This year, [we are] quoting about a week.''
Grimm said 1997 ``was unusually heavy'' for his firm. ``We've been swamped for 18 months.''
Grimm and other suppliers were interviewed at the Mike Koebel Moldmakers Trade Fair, held Nov. 11 in City of Industry.
``Over the last two to three months, manufacturing has been off 20 percent to 30 percent overall, and that directly affects our business,'' said Tom Hardy, sales manager with Tool Steel Service of California Inc. in Los Angeles. ``There are not as many products being made or as many tools being made.''
Demand has slackened.
``Normally, with steel, you have a two- or three-day turnaround,'' said Dan Roach, product manager for Alloy Tool Steel Inc. in Santa Fe Springs. ``Right now, customers are talking about what they are going to do in January.'' He said business was slow in July and August, picked up in September and was OK in October.
``Business has been a little off,'' said Rick Salisbury, sales manager of R.L. Stephens Tool & Equipment Co. in Anaheim. ``We've seen a slowdown'' as a result of an aerospace industry decline.
Edgar Sanchez sees only growth. ``So far, I've seen positive changes,'' said Sanchez, sales manager with GRT Inc. of Sun Valley. ``We are extremely busy right now.'' Year-to-year business is up 7-10 percent for the manufacturer representative and distributor of materials and equipment to injection molders and mold makers.