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It's certainly understandable that Husky wants to be a mold supplier. After all, they supply molding presses, temperature controllers, hot runner systems and integrated mold systems. So the next logical step is to supply molds. It didn't seem to matter a whole lot to other mold manufacturers at that time. It was small potatoes in the grand scheme of Husky's business.

Clare Goldsberry

November 5, 2013

3 Min Read
Can Husky be a mold components supplier and a mold maker?

However, today Husky is a huge global mold manufacturer. Which is why I'm asking, will Husky's current mold making customers - those who collaborate with Husky on hot runner systems for customers who demand Husky systems - care that Husky is now a full-fledged competitor.

Husky has had long-lasting relationships with many of its moldmaking customers, as it noted in its release about Schottli. A lot of mold makers do business with Husky, and some of them that I spoke with are more than a bit troubled by one of their premier suppliers becoming a competitor?

One mold manufacturer, who does business with Husky for some of its hot runner systems, told me, "We share a lot of proprietary information with Husky. They meet with our customers all the time when we're debugging molds, performing engineering tests. They're getting a lot of exposure to our customers." And for that reason, this mold manufacturer might have to think long and hard before getting Husky involved in a project with a customer.

John Galt, president and CEO of Husky, commented in response to PlasticsToday that the company encountered this problem when it purchased KTW. Magor Mold was purchased by CGS and became part of the Schoettli Group upon its creation, which is now all under Husky. Galt stated that Husky treats "all customer information as confidential and we have always done so. Husky's hot runner and controller business continues to operate independently from Husky's mold making businesses. Each business operates with a separate management team and we have established a process by which we segregate customer information between businesses."

Galt also noted that this business model of vertical integration in the mold components industry is becoming commonplace. "In fact, many equipment manufacturers serve multiple levels of the plastics industry," he said. "Manner, for example, sells packaging and medical molds, as well as hot runners. Similarly, HRS sells automotive molds and hot runners. As technology becomes more specialized we believe this trend will continue."

For Husky, this latest acquisition wasn't just about adding a mold manufacturer, but about getting deeper into the medical market. "We recognize that Husky has a lot to learn and accomplish in medical and we believe that the best way to gain a deeper understanding of what customer need is through tooling," Galt stated. "To-date our understanding of the medical business has been learned through our stand-alone hot runner business. Adding a medical mold maker to our organization will deepen our knowledge and enable us to grow within the select applications that Schottli focuses, as well as gain the expertise to build the strongest melt delivery system in the medical market."

Perhaps the nature of the mold making business has become such that vertical integration among molding machinery and equipment makers, mold component manufacturers and mold making companies will be the way to thrive in a global marketplace and better serve global OEMs. These types of deals shouldn't surprise us anymore, and we'll probably see more of them in the future.

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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