The Great Recession delivered a body blow to Portugal's economy, which is only now showing slim signs of recovery. While the country's tool and mould makers were not immune to the crisis (nor to intense competitive pressure from outside the European Union), the sector has been the source of some encouraging news, with exports surging 35% in 2012, according to national mold industry association Cefamol. More good times are ahead, at least that's the belief of E&T and AFR (Marinha Grande), partner companies in the mould and tool sector that inaugurated a new facility earlier this year. They have invested €2 million in engineering and tooling, a considerable feat at a time when money is tight and times are tough. They will be telling their story at Euromold in Frankfurt, Germany, on December 3-6, 2013.
The goal of the partnership is to blend the "different experiences in the market and different competencies to generate . . . synergies . . . to create a strong and cohesive group using the best from each company," said the firms in a prepared statement. To this end, in addition to investing in a revitalized engineering division and tooling shop, which allowed for the creation of more than 15 new jobs, the partners have acquired a five-axis milling center and will upgrade the existing arsenal of coordinate measuring machines.
E&T and AFR Moldes reported a combined revenue of €6 million in 2012, all of which came from exports, mostly to Germany and the United States. As might be expected, the automotive sector is the primary customer. The goal for 2013 and 2014 is to increase revenue to approximately €8 million.
AFR Moldes was founded in 1993 as a production unit of E&T, which works with a network of approximately 10 local manufacturers on large-scale projects.
At the forthcoming Euromold exhibition in Frankfurt, E&T and AFR Moldes look forward to discussing their recent initiative and prospects for growth with potential customers. Find them in hall 8, stand D70.