Ironwood Plastics Inc. has had a booth at the Society of Automotive Engineers' World Congress for the past 10 years, but when SAE announced changes for the 2010 event in Detroit, it looked like this time the injection molder would have to pass.
SAE intentionally scaled down its exhibitors floor to 100 booths, putting more emphasis on the technical sessions while giving those selected companies on the show floor more exposure because they would have less competition.
Then Ironwood an insert molding and continuous reel-to-reel specialist located in the far northern Michigan town of Ironwood had a discussion with mold maker Extreme Tool & Engineering Inc. from nearby Wakefield, Mich. By joining together along with other companies focused on highly engineered parts, the firms could work together to jointly market their capabilities.
The two firms added process engineering and training firm RJG Inc. of Traverse City, Mich., and prototype specialist Morris Technologies Inc. of Cincinnati to create the informal Midwest Strategic Plastics Alliance and win one of the limited spots for the congress, held April 13-15.
We all complement each other and we all know each other, said Mark Stephens, co-president at Ironwood. They said that the theme of the conference was innovation, and we thought this was a good way to show innovation in marketing ourselves.
While the four firms do not have an official alliance, they do work together often, and Mike Zacharias, owner of Extreme Tool, said they showcase a suite of products that can take parts from design and engineering up to full production.
This is an opportunity to show what we do and how it all fits together to help everyone move forward, Zacharias said.
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