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Mold and Die Manufacturing — Dawning of a New Industry in Mexico, Part I

I am certain that you’re well acquainted with the worldwide consumption of mold, dies, and fixtures, but did you know it is expected to reach $368 billion by 2026?
Aug 16, 2021

I am certain that you’re well acquainted with the worldwide consumption of mold, dies, and fixtures, but did you know it is expected to reach $368 billion by 2026? The International Special Tooling and Machining Association (ISTMA), an organization that represents national mold and die associations from around the world, published this year’s numbers, and according to it, the figure is projected to increase 8% year-by-year until 2026.

One of the key drivers for the growth of Mexico’s mold and die market is the increase of on-demand consumer electronics triggered by the COVID pandemic, or the “new normal.”  Automotive is another key industry fueling this market, which amounts to 70% of the current consumption volume. ISTMA notes that renewable energy, a non-conventional segment, is also boosting Mexico’s mold and die industry.

It is no surprise that a manufacturing powerhouse such as Mexico, which produces $400 billion in manufacturing goods every year, is always in high demand for mold, dies, and fixtures. This new industrial sector is outside of Mexico’s traditional, established sectors, which include automotive, auto parts, electrical and electronic components, appliance, medical devices, and aerospace. 

Background

During the past five years, there has been a conscious effort to build up the mold and die industry, which is demanding an important figure in products, as the consumption ranges from $4 billion to $6 billion every year. Highly specialized parts, only 5% of the aforementioned figure, are manufactured in Mexico and the remaining are imported mostly from Asia and Europe. The bulk of the parts imported or consumed by Mexico are stamping dies, molds for plastic and aluminum injection, forging, and fixtures for holding and measuring.

Europe and Asia are well-established markets for mold and die manufacturing. As an example, there are more than 7,000 small- to medium-enterprises in Europe, adding value to the industry with a total revenue of $13 billion. In contrast, Mexico currently charts 500 companies with a demand of $5.8 billion.

Mexico imports per year: 

  • More than $600 million in aluminum injection molds

  • More than $1.7 billion in plastic injection molds

  • An estimate of 5,000 plastic injection molds

  • More than $700 million in stamping dies

  • More than $2 billion in tools and fixtures

The latter figures were charted before the implementation of the new United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which is triggering an increase in regional value content, thus growing more demand for the mold and die industry in Mexican made parts!

Prospects

The opportunity to source into this market with manufacturing technology solutions and aftermarket support, which is not well known to the industry, is worth the development of a dedicated sales and marketing strategy. The technology in need of implementation is higher in advanced manufacturing, better priced, and most likely with better margins!

If you are interested in tapping into this market, you´ll find a robust customer base for reshoring mold and dies in northern, central, and western Mexico. As an example, the large clusters of medical device makers, located in Mexico’s north and northwest regions, prompted an initiative to increase their output by setting a goal to produce 25% of the parts locally in the next few years.

Another example is an exercise called “creative thinking” launched and sponsored by Ford, which invited AMMMT, the Mexican Association of Mold and Die Manufacturers, other industrial clusters, and the AMT Tech Center in Mexico to participate in various work sessions to brainstorm initiatives to develop the industry in Mexico.

AMT will continue participating in the regular meetings held by AMMMT and has been involved to join as a “strategic member” of ISTMA Americas as a result of the professional relationship capital built by AMT both in Mexico with AMMMT and with the Brazilian Association of Mold and Die Manufacturers (ABINFER). 

To date we are expeditiously strengthening the available market intelligence regarding who is who in Mexico’s budding mold and die industry. We are excited about the “dawn of a new Industry,” which is bound to favorably impact the rest of the consumer industries due to its ubiquitous influence. In part II of this two-part article, I review the state of the mold and die industry by Mexico’s geographic locations.

Please contact me, Carlos Mortera at  cmortera@amtonline.org if you would like to know about products and services designed to help you tap into this new market while the momentum builds!

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Author
Carlos Mortera
International Director, Latin America
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