Moldmaking Index Remains in Lower Range
The Moldmaking Index was led higher by supplier deliveries, new orders, production and employment.
Registering 52.9 for October, the Gardner Business Index (GBI): Moldmaking moved slightly
lower as backlogs and exports both significantly weighted on the Moldmaking Index’s latest
performance. Compared to the same month one year ago, the Moldmaking Index is down
8.2 percent. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the underlying data for the month reveals that
the Moldmaking Index was lifted higher by supplier deliveries, new orders, production and
employment. The averages-based index was pulled lower by contracting backlogs and exports.
The latest round of U.S. and Chinese tariffs, which have been implemented in escalating
fashion, took effect in late September. The total effect from the many rounds of tariffs that
have taken place under both governments have significantly impacted the cost of aluminum,
steel and mold products. In addition, the rising value of the U.S. dollar against the Chinese
Yuan has put U.S. manufacturers at an additional disadvantage when competing abroad. Under the current conditions, moldmakers will have to master their supply chains and seek to replace lost opportunities abroad with new domestic opportunities.
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About the Author
Using aluminum tooling instead of traditional tools steels reduces cycle time and costs, but requires up-front, open communications between moldmaker, molder, material supplier and hot runner manifold supplier.
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