After spending two rather intense weeks working in central Mexico with a major US plastics corporation I came away with a few observations regarding the current status of plastic injection mold making/molding industry in this delightful country.
Ironically, my wife and I were channel surfing in our hotel room and ended up watching a movie called “Bordertown”, with Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas. The movie was inspired by true events in Cuidad Juarez, right on the US border. Mexican female workers were disappearing, the apparent victims of homicide. Jennifer Lopez and Antonio Banderas are impassioned reporters who are determined to uncover the truth, which eventually leads to Banderas’ murder.
The movie is obviously biased against the US corporations building factories along the border, all as a result of NAFTA. The factories, or maquiladoras are presented as sweat shops that greedily exploit impoverished Mexican workers, primarily women.
So, the following morning I had the interesting experience of riding to work with the American operations manager of the company I was working with. I asked him about the existence of such maquiladoras and he acknowledged their existence and role in manufacturing.
We had an interesting conversation about working conditions, the environment, NAFTA, worker’s rights, and the fact that his company is a maquiladora. As with almost everything, it is the extreme examples that make the news.
The shop I worked in was clean, safe and very well run. The workers were obviously happy and glad to have a job there. I saw no signs of pollution or dumping of anything. The industrial park housed many other global companies, such as Makino, Engel, Autoliv, Brose, and Iscar.
Mold Making In Mexico
From my experience, mold making in Mexico is rather underdeveloped. The few suppliers my host used were either equipped for huge molds or unable to do intricate work. Every mold I worked on was made in either the US or Germany. I saw no Mexican built molds.
Plastic Injection Molding In Mexico
Plastic molding companies abound in central Mexico. In the industrial park where I worked there were numerous global companies who reportedly operate at near capacity. The lack of readily available supplies is, however, a constant problem.
For example: you cannot just call up Grainger or MSC and get the molding supplies delivered same day or overnight. In fact, you might just have to wait a while to get it at all. This seemed to be improving, according to the molding managers I spoke with.
From the up-close-and personal viewpoint of a mold maker working at a global plastic injection molding plant in central Mexico, molding is alive and well. Opportunities are there for molding suppliers and skilled workers with engineering degrees.