A Good Gauge

The American Mold Builders Association recently released a 10-year comparison of the mold manufacturing industry.


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The American Mold Builders Association recently released a 10-year comparison of the mold manufacturing industry based on an analysis of the data from its quarterly membership Business Forecast Surveys.

This comparison (available at www.amba.org) begins with the Spring of 1997, and shows the dramatic ups and downs of mold manufacturing in the U.S. throughout the past decade with a look at the various levels of business conditions, average number of shop employees employed, average number of design engineers employed and average number of shop hours.

In the end it teaches us, according to AMBA Executive Director Jeanette Bradley, “that mold manufacturing will always be a business of hills and valleys, ups and downs, and owners must learn to ride these waves, cope with the challenges of this business and always be looking for ways to do business better, more efficiently and cost effectively.”

Although this comparison serves as a gauge to see where we’ve been and to project what will be in the years to come, an efficient way to get a handle on what is happening in the industry today, is to attend the MoldMaking Expo 2007 next month in Rosemont, IL.

And speaking of the AMBA, back by popular demand is its How the Latest High-Speed Programming, Tooling and Machining Techniques Combine to Change Mold Manufacturing workshop on Thursday, April 19, 2007.. We’ve included an abbreviated version of the registration brochure that highlights the necessary information you need to register for the exhibit hall, a particular session or sessions, and/or a networking event.

In this issue, you also will see articles from or about other presenters at this year’s Expo, including a profile of this year’s Leadtime Leader Honorable Mention: Large Shop, Synergetic M2M Group; a technical article from Poco Graphite examining EDM’ing with exotic metals; a piece from CGI defining 3-D, non-contact scanning for moldmaking; a case study demonstrating the value of Makino’s machining/EDM combo to a 14-person shop; and, Steve Johnson’s continuing mold maintenance/repair series with a look at how to qualify a vendor.


Next month we continue our show coverage with our Exhibitor Profiles to keep you informed on the manufacturers and suppliers that will be showing their wares at this year’s event. For further show details on the exhibit hall, conference sessions or networking events, and up-to-the-minute exhibitor and product display information, visit www.moldmakingexpo.com.