The President of The International Special Tooling & Machining Association (ISTMA), Bob Williamson, visited several mold plants in Querétaro (Meximold) as well as Meximold, the first Mexican trade show and conference focused in molds.

The Mexican Mold and Dies Manufacturing Association (AMMMT) invited the President of The International Special Tooling & Machining Association (ISTMA), Bob Williamson, to visit Mexico to show him the capabilities of this industry. His visit coincided with Meximold, the first exhibition dedicated to exposing the national manufacturing capabilities of the mold, die and tooling sector, which was also attended by ISTMA's President.

Williamson visited companies such as Makino / Single Source Technologies, Integrity Tool and Mold of Mexico, Omega, Arias Stamping, Kapco Moldes, Samsung, Martinrea and Mabe, and the headquarters of organizations such as the Queretaro Institute of Tooling, the Plastics Cluster of Querétaro, and CIDESI.

Eduardo Medrano, President of the AMMMT, shared with the President of ISTMA key data that reveal the capabilities of the mold and die industry in Mexico. Medrano indicated that the AMMMT had audited 113 local manufacturing companies, which have 3,400 experts in the manufacture of molds and dies, more than 1,000 CNC machines, more than 695 customers, and an average of USD 136 million in sales.

Medrano said that with the new T-MEC, essential changes are expected for the industry in Mexico due to the requirement to increase by 75% the participation of local content, which, according to him, will force to extend regional integration, including molds, dies, and tooling.

Bob Williamson's visit coincided with the realization of Meximold, an event organized by Gardner Business Media and the AMMMT that aimed to be the meeting point for all those involved in the supply chain of the mold, die and tooling sector. The event had more than 4,200 attendees, 145 exhibitors, and held 33 technical conferences.

In addition to Williamson, the opening ceremony was attended by Eduardo Medrano, president of the AMMMT; Allison Kline, Event Manager of Gardner Business Media; José Antonio Pérez Cabrera, Undersecretary of Sustainable Development of Querétaro (SEDESU); and Luis Lizcano, president of FEMIA.

In his speech to the audience, Williamson said that if a country does not have a robust, vibrant, and thriving tooling industry, strong manufacturing cannot be established.

"I want to refer today to the comparison between Mexico and my own country, South Africa, where both countries must admit their challenges. One of them is the importance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution since each country must decide how to use these technologies to overcome the various problems and challenges they experience. Mexico, pretty much as South Africa, does not have the same issues as Germany that has an aging population. In Mexico, there is a young and growing population, which makes its solutions radically different," said Williamson.

Likewise, Williamson invited to believe and trust in the development of Mexico. "All Mexicans share ownership of the Mexico brand. It is up to each of you to project your company and everything you do in your business life."

About Mexican's capacities

During his visits to the manufacturing facilities and government entities, the President of the ISTMA stressed that in Mexico, especially in the Bajío region, there is a significant development, and there are specialized suppliers that are including new technologies.

Besides, he pointed out that technology is a tool that has changed the way things are done and that there is no going back. In the case of industry, the new systems focus on improving and preparing what the future will be: Industry 4.0.

This reflection was shared by Mexican businessmen with whom Williamson interacted. For example, Eduardo Valencia, Purchasing Manager of Martinrea Honsel Mexico, thanked the visit of the President of ISTMA and his willingness to know first-hand the size and type of industry in Mexico.

"His visit can give a boost to growth, investment, and training and probably even bring groups that can come to manufacture to Mexico," said Valencia.

About Martinrea Honsel Mexico, Valencia said that being an aluminum injection company requires suppliers of molds with high technology. "Our problem is the size of the molds because they can weigh up to 50 tons and the smallest inserts up to 3.5 tons, so the mold manufacturers must have the latest technology, laser measurement, training, and the ability to collaborate in the design," he said.

Luis Ballesteros Martínez, Leader of the Simulation Team of the Technology and Projects Center of the Mabe company, also agreed that the visit of Bob Williamson and the members of the AMMMT is an excellent opportunity to establish relationships for the development of tools for mass production in Mexico.

"We know that in Mexico, we have many capacities for manufacturing, but it is also important to have engineering and technical capabilities for the design and development of mass production tools to strengthen the Mexican industry," Ballesteros said.

After a week of intense work and listening to Mexican companies, Bob Williamson said that if Mexico wants to maintain a sustainable manufacturing economy, it is vital to create the support capacity for the manufacturing industry.

"We must recognize that there is no such thing as manufacturing without tools. To have a sustainable manufacturing economy, you must have a viable and vibrant internal tooling industry. It is a non-negotiable issue," said Williamson.

ISTMA's President said that events like Meximold are essential for the industry: "Leaving aside opportunities to create visibility of the private sector. It is a platform to unite people through networking."

It should be noted that the Mexican Association of Mold and Dies Manufacturers was formally recognized as a member of ISTMA in October 2018.

A video related with this visit can be viewed at: