ShanghaiAt a conference held April 19 on his firms stand here at the Chinaplas trade show, Dave Lawrence, president of D-M-E, announced the formation of a strategic alliance between Tokyos Futaba Corp. and D-M-E Co. (Madison Heights, MI). Futaba, best known in this industry as a leading Asian mold base manufacturer, acquired 49.1% of D-M-E''s Japan joint venture, JADME, from Mitsubishi Steel Manufacturing (MSM). The deal was finalized on March 31. D-M-E maintains majority ownership in JADME. Both firms mold components businesses are approximately equal in size, with annual revenues between $150 and $200 million.
Lawrence said the alliance will be global in nature and gives D-M-E access to Futabas manufacturing facilities in China and Vietnam, letting it manufacture a wider array of its products in Asia, while giving Futaba access to some of D-M-Es technology and its global distribution and service network, allowing for expansion of Futaba products outside of Japan. Were better in some technical products, and theyve a better position in Asian manufacturing, Lawrence said. D-M-Es initial intention is to increase its business in Japan, he said, noting moldmakers there are grabbing an increasing share of Asias high-tech mold market.
Though not present at the conference, in a statement Nobumitsu Kanetsuna, executive VP of Futaba, said, The joining of these two companies leads to our ability to better serve molders and moldmakers around the globe. It truly is a mutually beneficial agreement with D-M-E gaining manufacturing capacity and presence in the Asian market and Futaba gaining access to technologies such as hot runner systems.[email protected]