What’s in Querétaro, You Ask?
Querétaro is located about two hours north of Mexico City and is the fastest-growing city in Mexico that is not a resort or border city with a population of 800,000. It is bustling with manufacturing activity, and its people have mold building on their radar.
Now, I’ve only been to Mexico once, and it was to Puerto Vallarta for an AMBA Convention about 10 years ago, so I really had no idea what to expect when I set off to attend Gardner Business Media’s inaugural mold and die event in Querétaro: Meximold.
My impressions of where I was going came from not-so-nice news reports and stories of fellow travels visiting other areas of the country, so let’s just say that I was a little anxious about this trip.
My fears started to dispel as soon as I arrived at the hotel and took in the view of the city from my 10th-floor window. And the convention center was quite impressive too.
This little city was not so little after all, and it quickly became evident that something was happening here, something to be aware of because it has potential and presents opportunity.
Attending Meximold was a fact-finding mission for me, really. With all the talk about Mexico lately, I had to go check it out for myself. Gardner’s Mexico team did a phenomenal job of creating an impressive first-time event in Mexico, which followed the Amerimold model with a few tweaks that we’d like to bring to the States. Over two days, international exhibitors showcased everything from additive manufacturing, machine tools, and software to hot runners, mold components, molding equipment, molds and more to more than 4,000 visitors!
What I saw were tooling engineers, tool room technicians, and plant floor managers, mostly from OEM and tier supplier facilities who were hungry for work and thirsty for knowledge.
Manufacturing is beginning to boom in Querétaro. Mold maintenance and repair are continuing to grow, but it’s moldmaking that is front and center. Mexico considers itself a player in the tooling sector, so the people are motivated to learn and grow.
Companies all over the globe are looking to source molds in Mexico, so it’s only a matter of time before they ramp up their mold design and building capabilities, but in the meantime our experienced, skilled U.S. and Canadian mold manufacturers might want to consider setting up shop there to capitalize on the need for new tooling.
I was told to do it right requires a serious investment of time, money, and resources, and Mexico is not without its challenges, of course. The culture, lack of skilled labor, payment terms and tax structure are the ones most often mentioned. However, none of these are impossible to overcome. Mold builders are naturally creative thinkers and innovators, so surely you can tackle this if you believe it’s worth your while.
Overall for me, Meximold was very reminiscent of MMT’s first MoldMaking Expo in 1999 in Columbus, Ohio. Meximold had the same excitement of launching something new to acknowledge and legitimize a niche industry that is often misunderstood, misrepresented, and underappreciated for its craft and science.
In the end, I left the show thinking that Mexico is worth keeping an eye on for opportunities that market could bring to U.S. and Canadian mold manufacturers, and as soon as we figure out how we can arm you with the information you need to make informed decisions, you’ll be the first to know￼. Reach out to me if you have thoughts on or experiences with this marketplace at firstname.lastname@example.org
And if expanding into Mexico is not the growth option for your company, then a strong focus on improving efficiency, cutting costs, and increasing productivity with the right people, processes, and technology will be required for you to stay competitive, and MMT can help you with that too.
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