Japan's Canon Mold Co. Ltd. began as an in-house mold-making specialist turning out the highly technical molds that parent company Canon Inc. needed to make its consumer products.
But the mold maker is looking beyond its corporate family now as part of a global expansion that aims to do as much tooling business with outside manufacturers as it does for Canon.
Canon Mold has set a $150 million target for global tooling sales outside Canon within two years, said Tsuyoshi Yasuoka, chairman and CEO of Canon Mold (Booth S32061) during a June 23 interview at NPE.
Those sales look not only at Canon's traditional markets in Japan, but also emphasize its capabilities in North America as part of Canon Virginia Inc.
Canon Virginia added mold-making capabilities five years ago for in-house production at Newport News, Va. It just finished a $2 million investment in Virginia specifically for tooling production, which includes getting work from outside molders such as auto parts, office products and medical devices. Canon also has mold making in Thailand.
The multiple locations make it possible to work more closely with customers in either North America or Asia, cut delivery time and service molds as needed.
We can support our U.S. customers locally, said Takayoshi Hanagata, president and CEO of Canon Virginia.
Through production of its printers, cameras and other consumer products, Canon developed an ability to produce very complex parts with multishot, insert molding and other capabilities, Yasuoka said. But at the same time, the molds have had to be robust enough to produce millions of parts over a lifetime of use.
Although Canon can bring the lessons it has learned from its own tools to other molders, working with outside firms also challenges it to learn from, and adapt to, other industries' standards, he said.
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