Plastics Technology

JAN 2019

Plastics Technology - Dedicated to improving Plastics Processing.

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however, is still one that Integrity and others must confront constantly, according to McLaughlin. There is a labor pool to draw from, but its depth, and the skill set of the individuals within it, differ from what Integrity is used to. "We're hiring some semi-skilled labor that may have come from a machine shop or were in a tool room at a molder," McLaughlin says, "but they really didn't have experi- ence with building new tools." To address that, Integrity has instituted a comprehensive in-house training program, as well as flying experienced workers from Canada down to Mexico and some Mexican workers up to Windsor. In addition, the company is collaborating with local technical colleges to find new recruits and help those schools build a curriculum that will serve the growing moldmaking industry. "At least here in Querétaro, there is no specialized training for moldmaking," McLaughlin says. "So we're hiring guys that have industrial engineering and mechanical engineering experience. They've proven that they have that mindset, and then we're training them specific to our industry." Part of this effort involves a co-op partnership with local technical colleges. On Integrity's shop floor, multiple workers sport yellow shirts that designate them as members of the co-op program. Integrity currently has eight co-op students, spending a portion of their school day at the plant for paid hands-on experience. From the last co-op student group, McLaughlin says Integrity hired all eight, giving the company workers experience not just in moldmaking but in how Integrity makes molds. "The co-op is appealing to us because we're training them in our processes and techniques and work ethic, which is good," McLaughlin says. "There's a benefit to that—you're investing in a young guy and if he's treated properly, he's going to stay here." HECHO EN MEXICO (MADE IN MEXICO) As the nascent moldmaking industry grows in Mexico, its OEM and tier supplier customers are increasingly asking for local tool builds and support, instead of using Mexican shops simply for repairs and engineering changes on molds that were brought in from elsewhere. "We're hearing a lot more about local tooling requests," McLaughlin says. "It seems like it's being mandated by the OEMs or the big Tier Ones—they want to build local now, in Mexico." When Integrity first came to Mexico, its business was 100% based on repairs, maintenance and engineering changes. Not long after arriving, it moved into building locally, and today, McLaughlin says its business is split 70:30 between new builds and maintenance/repairs. That's the same ratio as at its head- quarters in Canada. "I think OEMs and Tiers are seeing that there's more ability here," McLaughlin says. "I'm not bragging, but I think Integrity is helping that. Whatever we can do in Canada, we can do here." "I think OEMs and Tiers are seeing that there's more ability here. I think Integrity is helping that. Whatever we can do in Canada, we can do here." Integrity's new operation in Querétaro features two 2300-ton KraussMaffei injection molding machines, providing mold trials for larger tools or emergency production for customers. Integrity's new facility features a 50-ton overhead crane capable of moving large molds between its two 2300-ton KraussMaffei injection molding machines. @plastechmag 41 Plastics Technology On-Site Integrity Tool and Mold

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