biggest manufacturing group for injection moulds
Moulds Division of the Simoldes Group is considered
to be the biggest manufacturing group for injection
moulds in Europe and in many circles is regarded
as being an example to follow in the industry.
Founded on 30th November 1959 with the “extraordinary”
equity capital of forty thousand escudos (200 Euros).
Simoldes Aços, Lda is currently one of the
biggest European manufacturers of moulds along with
the “parent company” and Simoldes Group
School. This group consists of six industrial companies
located in Portugal and one in Brazil and is headed
by the family of Commendator António Rodrigues
( Maria Aldina F. Valente and Rui Paulo Rodrigues
For strategic Reasons, the group is seeking to expand
into Asia and Eastern Europe.
Simoldes Aços started out as manufacturer
of moulds for domestic items and toys in Oliveira
de Azeméis. The first strategic change took
place in April 1963 when we moved premises. Expansion
of business was already a company objective.
In 1966, after in-depth market research on an international
level, followed by a wide-ranging publicity campaign,
the company took part in its first direct exhibition,
in Spain. This was the time of the intermediaries
and through the manufacture of moulds for England
and the United States the doors were opened for
the export of our products.
In 1968, Simoldes Aços exported directly
for the first time. England was the country of destination
and the city was London, Bankside.
At the beginning of the 70s the construction of
new Simoldes Aços building was started and
in April 1974 these new premises, where the company
is also currently based, were officially inaugurated.
When many companies were in decline because of the
political situation at the time, Simoldes, under
the guidance of Mr. António Rodrigues, “gained
momentum” for the years to come. Through efficient
management, excellent facilities, machines and skilled
labour, the company knew best how to meet the demands
of the market and strengthen its image as a moulds
In 1976/1977 the extensive search for new markets
started with stands at trade fairs in Chicago, Birmingham
and Gothenburg and participation in trade missions
to the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Holland,
and Denmark. It was during this decade that Simoldes
Aços started to manufacture moulds for the
European automobile industry, more specifically
for countries such as France and Sweden. Clients
included Volvo, Saab and Renault, although indirectly
at the time.
At the beginning of the 80s, partly driven by the
setting up of the Renault factory in Portugal, the
opportunity arose to expand into the injection of
The aim was to supply the end client, directly to
their production lines with the plastic parts they
needed. It was against this background that Simoldes
Plasticos was formed, the first company in the Plastics
Division of the Simoldes Group.
At the beginning of the gos, ten years after the
company`s great international leap, we started to
diversify with the opening of MDA-Moldes de Azeméis
in 1994, a company specializing in advanced technology
and the manufacture of large-scale moulds, in 1996,
IMA – Indústria de Moldes de Azeméis
was founded and in 1999 a manufacturing unit was
opened in Curitiba, Brazil, with the name of Simoldes
With the arrival of the new millennium and as part
of ongoing group strategy, new investment was made
in the acquisition of new mould manufacturing units,
first with IGM – Industria Global de Moldes
and later through the acquisition of MECAMOLDE –
Moldes para Plásticos and UL Moldes, both
in Oliveira de Azeméis.
Working with a young and dynamic team, the moulds
division of the Simoldes group produces and exports
to more than 30 countries, including: France, Germany,
Spain, Sweden, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Switzerland,
Iran and Turkey.
The company is seeking to evolve into a service
provider, without losing sight of the supply made
to different markets and the principles of total
quality and full compliance with deadlines. To meet
the demands of today`s markets we constantly seek
to increase productivity, which is a determining
factor for maintaining high levels of competitiveness.
Main Clients/ Markets:
The Simoldes Group Currently supplies some of the
biggest companies in the automobile industry, including
Renault, Volvo, Saab, GM, Ford; Peugeot, Mercedes,
Citroen, VW, BMW and Seat, as other market leaders
in different industries.
These clients are mostly multinational companies
and have manufacturing facilities on several continents
or centralize purchases in their country of origin.
However, they purchase individually while sharing
information and common purchasing policies.
This market needs to select a series of moulds manufacturers
who, through their know how and production capability,
can supply high quality moulds at the best prices
and delivery times. These are demands which can
only be met by the most efficient of moulds manufacturers.
Initially directed at a clientele with an average
injection capability of 500 tons. Simoldes is now
aiming to become a global partner within the automobile
industry. The need therefore arises to add companies
to the group which specialize in smaller moulds
so as to provide an integrated solution for market
Technological Development: Channels and
Simoldes has always sought to be an early adopter.
Making full use of a strategy of focus, specializing
in the specific environment of highly technical,
quality moulds within the moulds industry in general,
the group has created a niche to which resources
and specialized knowledge are now directed. The
aim is now to maintain and increase this niche.
As this is a precision industry and given the specific
demands of the target sector, Simoldes has recognized
the driving factors of the market and gone against
the tendency to form a single large injection mould
manufacturing company. Instead we opted for several
independent production units, working in similar
areas but with a smaller number of employees and
smaller individual production capability. However,
this provides more flexibility for operations and
makes it easier to adapt to the requirements of
each different market.
We should also mention inter-company cooperation
which allows us to maximize resources and increase
efficiency while also sub contracting jobs. This
work is carried out by companies with a high level
of technical quality giving Simoldes the guarantee
that specific requirements will be met.
Our pioneering strategic choice of moulds for the
automobile industry and ongoing investment and full
application of high performance technology in all
areas of production together with our skilled labour,
are factors which have placed the company in a position
of control over domestic competition within the
industry, and we are considered by many to be the
“ standard” for companies to follow.
Simoldes, after having achieved a technological
level which allows us to compete with the best in
the industry, is now concentrating on a strategy
of differentiation. We are developing a plan of
action based on guidelines for the medium and long-term.
Given the importance of a number of countries have
for the group, the use of a structure for the supply
of services which improve both verbal and cultural
communication has been the strategy implemented
to make up for the distance which separates us from
Therefore, in the markets of Germany, France, England,
Scandinavia and Spain which are of great importance
for the group, we have set up agencies (Advanced
Customer Services or ACSs). These are managed by
qualified staff who come from the respective countries
and are able to carry out technical and commercial
tasks. The aim of this approach is to be able to
react more quickly to meet market requirements whole
also overcoming any cultural barriers which may
The future will be even more competitive and there
can be no geographical limits to the company's strategy
Font: "O Molde"
Magazine, December 2004