A “Run for the Border” Expands Transportation Market Niche
“This opportunity demonstrates how a great relationship can develop into a partnership with customers, as we’ve become very much a value-added supplier to them. We’re co-located with them and that strategy lends itself to other OEMs looking for similar relationships.”
Sometimes the opportunity to capture new business requires taking a big leap. For Industrial Molds Group (Rockford, IL)—MoldMaking Technology’s 2012 Leadtime Leader Award winner—a chance to expand business for a Tier 1 customer in the transportation industry meant making a run for the border.
Later this month, Industrial Molds Group and sister company Pyramid Plastics, a custom injection molding firm, will hold the grand opening of its newest molding facility, Pyramid Plastics San Antonio—located in San Antonio, TX—in a free trade zone.
Industrial Mold Group’s customer assembles its products at plants in Mexico and the Southwest, so it needed Industrial to be closer to those facilities to shorten the supply chain. The new facility comprises 21,000 square feet of production and office space; however, Industrial Molds Group has a commitment to expand into 30,000-square feet during the next few years as business in the region grows. It currently houses five injection molding machines with 500 to 800-ton capacity to accommodate large-part molding. There are nine employees with two shifts currently.
According to Industrial Molds Group Vice President Tim Peterson, “This opportunity came to us because we have grown the company into a full-service supplier for mold design and engineering, molding process development and production molding through our sister firm, Pyramid Plastics. Being a full-service provider has given us a lot of new business over the past few years, and we always strive to meet the value-added requirements of our customers.”
Industrial Molds Group has added more than $1 million in new equipment, including machine tool automation and robotics in the company’s mold manufacturing division, MoldEx 3D mold filling analysis software to optimize mold design, and state-of-the-art 3D modeling.
Recent investments in Pyramid Plastics’ capabilities include the addition of a 700-ton press and a 1,000-ton press, bringing the tonnage ranges from 20 to 1,000 tons. The company has also added two-shot molding to accommodate requirements for its customers in the automotive/transportation industry, hardware, consumer products and packaging.
“This opportunity demonstrates how a great relationship can develop into a partnership with customers, as we’ve become very much a value-added supplier to them,” Peterson says. “We’re co-located with them and that strategy lends itself to other OEMs looking for similar relationships.”
Peterson adds Pyramid Plastics San Antonio will be adding two-shot and lower tonnage presses over the next year—as low as 150 tons—to accommodate a wider range of part sizes. “We have room for future expansion and we’re currently evaluating some additional services there such as mold repair and maintenance, and secondary operations in the future, but for now the mold engineering and technology will remain in Rockford, offering full support services to San Antonio,” he comments. “Obviously, decisions to add capabilities and equipment will be driven by customer requirements.”
As OEMs look to more “regional” suppliers to help mitigate risk, Peterson says that it will most likely drive Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers such as Industrial Molds Group to look at other strategic opportunities. “Obviously we can’t site a facility everywhere we have customers,” he states. “These strategic decisions need to make good business sense for both Industrial Molds and for our customers throughout the U.S., to establish a presence in regions where we can maximize our growth and be a supplier of excellence for our customers.”
For More Information
Industrial Molds Group / (815) 397-2971
firstname.lastname@example.org / industrialmolds.com