Market Insights The Ten Biggest Challenges for Tool and Mould Makers in Europe

Author / Editor: Gerd Kielburger / Ahlam Rais

Rarely have the differences between companies in the industry been as obvious as they are now. Success and failure are often close together — so close, in fact, that it is not uncommon for a company that is drowning in orders and another that is on the verge of bankruptcy to have exactly the same product range and even to be in the same region. The differences lie deeper. We have compiled the ten biggest challenges for tool and mould makers in Europe.

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Shark Tank Mould Making and Tooling: How to overcome the most important challenges.
Shark Tank Mould Making and Tooling: How to overcome the most important challenges.
(Source: ©freshidea - stock.adobe.com)

The industry in which your are active plays a role. But many factors are in the hands of the company leaders themselves. We have compiled the most important ones for you. Please click on the 10 pointers below to unlock the biggest challenges for tool and mould making in Europe.

1. Properly manage the opportunities and risks of globalisation

In global competition, subsidies that some countries continue to give their own tool and mould making industries, either covertly or openly, have a distorting effect on competition.
In global competition, subsidies that some countries continue to give their own tool and mould making industries, either covertly or openly, have a distorting effect on competition.
(Source: ©lidiia - stock.adobe.com)

Today, OEMs produce worldwide and they also source their tools on the global market. Long-term customer-supplier relationships have become drastically less important. And good personal relationships are now sometimes even a hindrance in times of ever tighter compliance rules.

This year, companies in the industry have also been confronted with something that was unknown in the recent past: urgently needed raw materials have become scarce in Europe. And since large warehouses have gone out of fashion — for good reasons — and people have adjusted to the worldwide just-in-time availability of goods, this has hit the mould makers, and especially the injection moulders, hard and unexpectedly.

Not least as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, new flows of goods have opened up new markets, suppliers have reorganised their production, and many orders have remained on hold for a long time.

After the calm, everyone now suddenly wants to place their orders at the same time — so no-one should be surprised to find bottlenecks. This will pass, however; the market will probably sort it out pretty quickly.

In global competition, subsidies that some countries continue to give their own tool and mould making industries, either covertly or openly, have a distorting effect on competition. In certain circumstances this leads to Asian tools being offered at prices that cannot even cover the value of their materials at open market prices, let alone the machining. As long as this is the case and no effective countermeasures can be taken by politicians, European suppliers are often left behind.

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