Coming off 2011, MGS Manufacturing Group Inc. had already recorded a solid year for its mold-making, molding and machinery businesses.
And 2012 is continuing to build on that success, especially in mold making, as the firm sees new contracts from its existing customer base and adds new business.
“We're averaging $4 million a month in [mold] sales as of today,” said John Berg, marketing director. “Mold making is such a strange beast to forecast, but if we keep this up, even by the end of the summer if things dropped off, we could call this a very good year.”
MGS is seeing increased orders in the medical and packaging industries, as well as resurgent growth from the auto industry — an industry many people abandoned when car production slowed three years ago.
Berg credits the continued growth throughout the customer base to MGS' investment in new technology to speed production. Software from supplier Sigma Plastics Services Inc. has sped the ability to fix potential problems before the mold steel is even cut, which reduces manufacturing time and changes to the mold once the first parts are made for testing. That reduces prototyping and the entire process, Berg said. And that, in turn, leads to repeat business.
“If I've saved you $5,000 or $10,000 and one or two weeks, I know we're going to get a chance to look at the next mold you buy,” he said.
Those technology investments also are helping MGS win work early in the development process, where it can work alongside brand owners, designers, material suppliers and molders.
“We're looking at opportunities where people are bringing us in early,” Berg said. “It gets us to the table early on, where we can make a real difference.”
MGS had one of its multishot tools in production at Krauss-Maffei Corp.'s booth during NPE2012, held April 1-5 in Orlando.
Some of the demand is also coming from customers that want more automation, to get more out of the molds they buy, or look to MGS' molding units for better manufacturing and delivery.
MGS also developed and sells a bolt-on second injection unit that it uses on its own equipment and sells to other molders that are looking to bring in two-shot molding, but without the expense of buying an all-new press.