St. Paul, MN (September 19, 2019) —According to the Gardner Business Index (GBI), the Moldmaking Index reported a record-breaking 33-month continuously expanding activity driven by supplier deliveries.

Moldmaking expanded during July, registering 50.6 thanks to an uptick in supplier deliveries. Index readings above 50 indicate expanding activity while values below 50 indicate contracting activity. The further away a reading is from 50, the greater the change in business activity. Compared to the July 2018, the Index is 9.4% lower. Gardner Intelligence’s review of the month’s underlying data found that supplier deliveries, which increased in activity in July, was the leading Index component. The Index was also supported by production and new orders. A no-change reading in employment activity combined with contracting backlog and export activity all pulled the Index lower.

For a second month in a row, new orders activity fell below that of production. This delta between orders and production may have contributed to July’s contractionary backlog reading. In the year-to-date period, backlogs have reported four months of contracting activity, two months of expanding activity and one month of no change. Only exports have reported more months of contracting activity during 2019, suppressing total new orders activity.

Custom Mold & Design is constantly investing in new technologies such as conformal cooling and additive manufacturing. Actually, all three companies invest heavily in equipment each year. “We add equipment like it’s going out of style,” Vice President of Sales Tom Caron says. “Our passion for constantly finding new and better equipment sets us apart. We have a specific technology road map; that is, we identify and test different technologies and put steps in place to bring that technology into our organization and use it to the benefit of our customers.”

In October 2018, Custom Mold & Design invested in the Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 Metal Laser Sintering Hybrid Milling Machine, a powder bed metal additive manufacturing platform with subtractive machining capability. The process produces highly accurate parts from metal powders that are melted and sintered using a laser while surfaces are precisely milled at high speeds. Often referred to as a “one machine, one process” system, the Matsuura LUMEX series allows for the production of the most complex and challenging parts through total manufacturing by digital engineering using 3-D data.

The Matsuura LUMEX Avance-25 is a game-changer for Custom Mold & Design. “Previously in the mold building industry, we learned how to use 3-axis CNC machining centers. Then came 5-axis machining and we took that on. With all of these technologies there is a learning curve, but you are essentially doing the same thing with new modifications,” Jones says. “The LUMEX Avance-25 involves working with powder and laser sintering, which is completely different. We have assigned our best people to learn this technology, essentially taking someone who is efficient at 3- and 5-axis machining and throwing them in the deep end of the pool to learn this technology. It certainly requires an investment and patience, but it is rewarding to participate in new and exciting technology and grow professionally. The LUMEX Avance-25 has provided opportunities, as well as challenges for our people.”

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Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business.

For more information on Matsuura LUMEX products, please contact: [email protected] or visit: