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.
Now, Canon Mold is looking beyond its corporate family 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 within two years, said Tsuyoshi Yasuoka, chairman and CEO of Canon Mold, during a June 23 interview at NPE2009.
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., he said.
Canon Virginia added mold-making capabilities in 2004 in Newport News, Va. It just finished a $2 million investment at the plant specifically for tooling production, which includes getting work from outside molders such as auto parts, office products and medical devices. Canon also has a mold-making operation in Thailand.
Multiple locations make it possible for Canon to work more closely with customers, cut delivery times and service molds as needed, officials said.
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.
While Canon can bring the lessons it has learned to other molders, working with outside companies challenges Canon to learn and adapt to other industries' standards, he said.
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