Major mold manufacturers in the world include Japan, Korea and mainland of China in Asia regions, USA from Americas and German in Europe areas. This article is aimed to introduce mold industry of each country and make analysis on competitiveness and differences of mold industry between China and other countries.
1. Mold Industry in Each Country
The number of mold manufacturers and employees in mainland of China contribute the most among the mold producing and consuming countries in the world. State-owned enterprises make up 70 percent of total, and foreign owned companies also constitute a larger portion. Some large mold factories own 600-700 employees and some even have thousands of mold workers. Take cikmold company, an ISO 9001 certified large-sized enterprise specialize in plastic injection mold, mold making, mould making, casting mould, rubber molds, mold design, die casting in China, for an example, there are more almost 6,000 employees in it. Middle-sized have 150-300 workers, while 50 at least in small mold factories. However, mold industry in other countries is mainly based on middle-sized and small factories.
As regard to product category, Japan and China mainland focused on injection mold and plastic mold in 2009 and achieved to a rate exceeding 80 per cent at total. For application in the market, car molds are most made by Japan, Korean, America and German, while electronics and telecommunication molds are main products made in China.
According to the status of import and export of each country, Japan, South Korea and German are strong mold export oriented countries while China mainland and America are powerful mold import oriented countries as their domestic manufactures are unable to fill the large mold market demand and have to rely on import. Analysis on report of 2009 importing and exporting countries shows that most of the countries are neighbor hood but unusually Japan focused on exporting molds to America and is changing its attention to china mainland due to rapid economic development in china.
In terms of salary, according to 2009 mold industry white paper announced by America board of foreign trade, engineers from Germany are paid the most, and then Japan and America, China mainland the least. Obviously, there is a big gap in labor cost between China mainland and other countries.
2. Advantages and Disadvantages of Mold Industry in Each Country
Technologically advanced countries like Japan, America, and Germany are ahead in designing and making high-precision and compound mold and boast a large number of skilled research and development employees. Japanese mold manufactures focus on polishing and grinding, while Germans prefer to improve efficiency and precision in order to save time of processing. In the market, Japan mold industry is a evident decline in output or domestic demand. In respect of operating costs, facing with high salary and welfare, downstream industries and mold manufacturer gradually change their product places to neighboring emerging industrial park and less advanced countries so as to reduce labor cost and strength price competitiveness. However, this tend will unavoidably cause a lease of technology and stimulate these countries to input much more development funds and widen the gas in processing and designing technology.
Comparing with the countries referred above, China mainland and Korea are lack in technology but boasts large cheap labor which makes their product more competitive in market.
As a whole, mold manufacturers are mainly middle and small sized. Therefore, they often meet difficulties when collecting operating costs and it’s very hard for them to stay strong without support from government and tax preferences. Except China mainland and South Korea, other countries are facing with high labor cost and the only way to get rid of the problem is to rise up added value of product.