Canadian Plastics

Finding New Business Online

By Rebecca Reid, managing editor   

Staying competitive these days is difficult for many Canadian mold, tool and die makers, but an Atlanta, Ga.-based website may hold the key to grabbing new business....

Staying competitive these days is difficult for many Canadian mold, tool and die makers, but an Atlanta, Ga.-based website may hold the key to grabbing new business., founded by entrepreneur Mitch Free, is a website where original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can interact with prospective suppliers.

Customers of pay a per-month, per-user subscription fee to post and view RFQs. Subscription rates to range from US$2,000 per month to US$10,000, depending upon the number of categories and geographies selected by the supplier.

Suppliers complete a profile providing details about their expertise, capacity and machinery, and also information as to what types of jobs they are looking for. OEM members, in turn, submit criteria about the type of supplier they want to attract when posting RFQs.


Using the information supplied by the OEM, searches the database for suppliers that match, which are then invited to bid for the job.

Moldmakers do particularly well on because there are currently far more OEM members than suppliers, Free said. Of the 145 RFQs awarded through between June 2005 and June 2006, for example, 21 were awarded for moldmaking, with a total award value of just over US$325,000, or US$15,500 per contract.

One moldmaker who has experienced considerable success on is Ogden, Utah-based Lacefield Plastics, which has discovered 90 per cent of its current business on the site, Johnny Lacefield, the company’s owner, said. Lacefield estimated that he has recieved between 10 and 20 per cent of the jobs he has bid for, resulting in a 640 per cent revenue increase within the past year. posts information about the location of each of the RFQs awarded, and having studied this data, Free believes that it is a misconception that the majority of new moldmaking jobs go to China. Many, he said, stay within North America because the high costs of traveling, difficulties in transportation of finished goods and communicating through different time zones and language barriers offset the lower Chinese labour and raw materials costs.

The challenge is to know which jobs are open to bid on, and users of believe they have discovered a solution. (Atlanta, Ga.);; 888-404-9686

Improved Steel From Bohler-Uddeholm Gives Platinum Tool An Edge

Since its introduction last year, Bhler-Uddeholm’s M238 VMR mold steel has been the material of choice at Platinum Tool Technologies Inc. “Once our clients see the results, they want it in their applications right away,” Dan Moynahan, Platinum Tool’s president, said.

According to Bhler-Uddeholm, the mold steel achieves a particularly high cleanliness level through a vacuum re-melting process initially developed from the production of high tensile strength titanium and zirconium alloys. “The extra melt means that there are fewer impurities in the material, making for a better mold. It also gives the M238 an increased polishability that our customers like because they don’t have to re-polish the mold all the time,” Moynahan explained.

The M238 VMR steel also has a high toughness that increases the mold’s service life. “In terms of hardness, the steel is between a 36 to 38 on the Rockwell scale, which is high but not a problem to work with,” Moynahan said.

Bhler-Uddeholm (Mississauga, Ont.);;



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