Himile – China’s Largest Mould Maker
Based just about an hour outside China’s rubber capital city (Qingdao in Shandong province), Himile Mechanical Science and Technology Co., Ltdis purportedly the largest mould manufacturer in the People’s Republic.
Growing into the position of leadership in one of the largest tyre markets is a process that has been completed within the space of one and half decades. Founded in 1995, Himile initially went into business with just two production lines – one for tyre mould making and one for manufacturing tyre manufacturing equipment. Since then the scale of the business has multiplied many times over.
Professional mould making now represents the mainstay of the company’s business with firm’s factory capable of producing around 500 moulds a month. Such is the company’s reputation for quality, eight out of the current top 10 tyre manufacturers source at least some of their moulds from Himile – a statistic that suggestions that western manufacturers are increasingly transferring tyre mould production away from the west to China, as Tyres & Accessories reported at the end of 2009. As a result, exports account for roughly a third of the sales generated by Himile’s mould making operations.
According to Himile executives, research and development spending is something that is key to success in this business and as a result backs away from revealing too much about this. Instead the company representatives T&A spoke to were keen to point out that while two-thirds of the company’s two moulds are currently sold within the domestic market, efforts are currently taking place to rebalance sales more in favour of export markets.
When asked what trends have been visible in the market, Himile representatives reported that there had been marked increase in demand of 41-inch diameter moulds, although the heaviest mould the company has sold recently was a 120 tonne 63-inch product. The technicians were keen to point out that they are capable of doing more is customers demand this.