Toolmakers from Japan and Canada are joining forces in a collaborative agreement that will help them reach more customers and maintain molds already in use.
The agreement between Kyowa Industrial Co. Ltd. of Sanjo City, Japan, and Valiant Tool & Mold Inc. of Windsor, Ontario, will provide each company with a wider international reach than either could manage independently.
Kyowa has two mold maintenance facilities in North America - in Chicago and Tijuana, Mexico - said Katsushi Nagoya, Kyowa sales department manager, in a June 21 interview at NPE, held June 19-23 in Chicago.
But the mold maker needs more help as its customers grow in North America.
It will use Valiant to maintain service on existing tools in North America, but the two companies also will work jointly on future mold programs, he said.
``We've worked together on a number of projects already,'' said Guy DiPonio, vice president of Valiant.
The cross-continental connection is important to meet the requirements of customers that are crossing borders themselves and want to be able to work with a limited number of suppliers, Nagoya said.
Both Kyowa and Valiant make tools for injection molding and compression molding for automotive and nonautomotive customers.
That expertise helps as Japanese automakers continue their growth in North America.
Valiant has expertise and contacts near Detroit, the heart of the North American auto base.
Asian carmakers like Toyota, Honda and Hyundai also have built large technical centers in the region.
Valiant's Mansfield, Texas, facility is seeing additional business as automakers move south. The site is just a few hours from Toyota's new truck assembly plant in San Antonio, which is an important location for Kyowa customers.