DUSSELDORF, GERMANY — Tradesco Mold Ltd., fresh from digesting a merger with Fairway Molds Inc., is considering buying a European mold maker to establish a base on the continent.
Rexdale, Ontario-based Tradesco does not have any set amount it wants to spend on the acquisition, but it wants to purchase a high-quality shop, said David Brown, president and chief executive officer: ``We're not interested in a mom and pop shop.''
European markets are smaller and more local, making it tough to compete from North America, Brown said. The European markets use more low-cavity molds, while Tradesco focuses on high-cavity projects, he said.
The European purchase also will help the firm establish a presence in Asia because it is closer than North America, he said at the K'98 show in Dusseldorf.
``Given all the Asian crises, we still believe the Asian market has a lot of need for our type of tools,'' he said. ``We think in two to three years time when the problem moves on, we need to be close to the Asian market, and Europe cuts that in half.''
The Asian market has more uses for high-cavity molds, he said.
The possible European expansion comes after Tradesco's parent company, New York merchant bank Castle Harlan Inc., bought Fairway Molds Inc. in Los Angeles and merged the two firms. The two firms do joint marketing and exchange technology, Brown said.
Also at K, Tradesco unveiled its three-level stack mold, which it says can meet needs for high-volume molding in injection machines where a four level mold cannot fit. The mold includes a balanced hot runner system.
Tradesco said the mold fills evenly, with virtually no increase in cycle or clamp tonnage requirements from a two-stack mold.
Conventional stack molds split the resin into two or four streams, making it easier to control the flow, said Vincent Travaglini, design engineering manager with Tradesco. Dividing it into three streams that have identical performance was difficult, he said.