GER - EuroMold faces the changing world by drawing from its past

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Even though regional fairs for mould making have been popping up throughout Europe, the annual Frankfurt exhibition still reigns supreme by continuing to feature cutting-edge applications. Demat Managing Director Eberhard Döring explains why.

ETMM: Tool shops have a main goal, which is to sell their goods to manufacturers. What's your view on the number of international OEMs that visit the EuroMold to find mould makers?

Eberhard Döring: It's pretty high. We have a very good OEM database. Unfortunately in 2009 and 2010, there was a big drop because the car industry, and other OEMs, were not allowed to come during the crisis. Now it's picking up significantly. And just like the Americans, OEMs here are focusing on reshoring, for sourcing out of Germany and out of Europe, so this year we expect higher participation from OEM visitors. This is what a product development fair should provide. We always have development engineering people and skilled workers and owners. The production people go to metal working or plastics processing shows and they can find what they need there. Here, we are focusing more and more on product development.

ETMM: How does that focus represent changes in the industry?

Döring: As one expert noted recently, toolmakers can no longer react, they have to act. This means 'front-loading'. They must understand much more about the products, they need design capabilities and all kinds of activities such as materials selection for the product, and they have to advise their customers. In the old days, you got a drawing and you made the mould. But this is changing. It's a complex business. The designer has demands, the production manager has demands, toolmakers have demands and the marketing department has another view. But, to make the product, you have to bring all this together and face this complexity in the beginning, not react to it later. That's what toolmakers are doing today, they are changing their philosophy. They are front loading. They are learning these soft skills.

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