Injection molders in almost all countries of
the globe imported more than $200 million worth of molds from Portugal.
Why do 85 percent of all molds made in Portugal end up in the export market?
What makes these molds different? Why do injection molders chose to go
3000 miles away to purchase these precision instruments?
France, Germany, Spain and the United States are
major importers of molds: in 1996 alone these four countries imported
$39, $30, $8 and $41 million of injection molds. Other countries importing
large numbers of molds include Holland, Sweden, Belgium, Brazil and Canada.
Companies in the United States that have purchased
molds in the past from Portugal will tell you that they are a significant
help in assuring quality and in maintaining tight production schedules
- all this without having to spend premium dollars.
It would be very difficult to explain why to buy
molds in Portugal if it weren't for the fact that so many companies already
do. Who buys molds from Portugal? "Name a brand name," said one mold maker
in Marinha Grande - one of the two mold making areas in Portugal - "and
you will find molds from Portugal."
You can find molds from Portugal in almost every
major end market for plastics. Housewares and delicate medical parts
or large packaging crates, complex three-component automotive parts such
as tail lights or tiny parts for consumer electronics.
We find it is extraordinarily easy to work with
our mold maker in Portugal," said one major U.S. molder of electronic parts.
"They communicate quickly and efficiently. But most importantly, they stick
to their word.
They are on schedule in terms of delivery times
and their service program is extraordinary."
Talking to just a small sample of mold buyers
around the world shows you that Portugal is indeed a success in the competitive
mold business. The export-oriented mold makers have worked hard at offering
their American customers key benefits which read like the want list of
any mold buyer:
Most of Portugal's 200 mold makers are located either
in Marinha Grande - some 93 miles north of Lisbon - or in Oliveira de Azemeis
- just 155 miles north of Lisbon. Both areas are connected to Lisbon and
Oporto by a new high-speed superhighway that allows for quick travel. You
can visit most of the plants and design offices in just two quick hours
- Reliable delivery schedules for new tools
- Quick and accurate mold cost quotes - often within
a day or so
- Delivery of fully "debugged" molds, ready for production
as soon as they arrive
- Molds which have long life-cycle and low maintenance
- Complete integrated design and project management
- Access to the latest technology in mold and part
design and advanced machine tools
- A price fully competitive with major sources of molds
around the world
Portuguese mold making industry is one of the
oldest in the world, having it's origin in making tools for glass pressing
and blowing. Plastics molds have been made in Portugal as early as the
first production of plastics in the 1930s.