Recently, I received an e-mail from a mold manufacturing company’s marketing person touting a new injection molding press—the company’s first—and eager to get the word out about its expanded capabilities to test and qualify molds the company builds. After requesting an interview with the company owner/president, I received another e-mail. This one was from the president, telling me they’d have to hold off on this press release because their largest customer (a molder) didn’t like the idea of this moldmaker getting into a competitive situation with it—hence, he didn’t want the moldmaker advertising that he now has an injection molding press.
This is not the first time I’ve run into this situation. It was common two decades ago when many moldmakers were buying presses and getting into sampling, then preproduction runs, and finally full-out production runs. Many eventually formed stand-alone molding entities. As one mold company owner told me a number of years ago, “When you build a mold, you build it once and get paid once. When you mold parts, you get paid over and over.”...