The Philippine tool and die industry aims to be a locally-dominant, globally-competitive, and self-sustaining industry.
By locally-dominant, the industry hopes for its favorable reception in the Philippine market, i.e., a state where locally produced tool and die products are strongly patronized by the domestic market over imported ones. By being globally competitive, industry seeks to develop its ability to offer products and services which are comparable in terms of quality and price with its competitors. By self-sustaining, the industy targets to operate on its technical, market and financial merits and not on artificial support.
The industry's goals are:
- To increase the number of skilled and competent personnel as well as enhance the current level of technical skills of local tool and die manufacturers;
- To enhance the capabilities of the local industry by supporting modernization and meeting the technological requirements of the tool and die stakeholders; and
- To reduce, if not eliminate, demand for internationally outsourced products and services by developing local suppliers of production inputs (e.g. raw materials, equipment, ancillary and maintenance services).
The tool and die industry is an industry that uses general and specialized metal cutting technology to fabricate dies, molds and toolings employed to convert raw material into a required shape. The common products of this sector include dies (simple, compound and progressive), molds (for forging, plastics injection or blow molding, die casting, glass blow molding) and tools, e.g. jigs and fixtures used for cutting and shaping different materials. Molds are shaping implements for glass, metal, rubber and plastics components through processes such as die casting, blow molding or sheet stamping. Both molds and dies are used to give a material a final or intermediate shape thus these products are found at the forefront of the shaping and fabrication industries. Tool and dies normally are ready to use products either as standalone (molds) or as an attachment to a machine (die).
The products of the tool and die industry are typically made by mold and die makers using general, conventional and specialized metal cutting technology, like computer numerically controlled (CNC) cutting machines, employing special tool steel materials which are either pre-hardened or which undergoes heat treatment after the desired tool has been cut to shape. The skill levels of mold and die makers are of the craftsmen level which requires talent and experience, although the use of CNCs improves the productivity of some.
The Philippine government recognizes that the tool and die industry is an important complement to other manufacturing activities. Through the Metal Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), it fully supports and promotes the tool and die industry and engages its stakeholders particularly the Philippine Die and Mold Association (PDMA). The PDMA collaborates with the associations of related industries, including the Motor Vehicles Part Manufacturers Association of the Philippines (MVPMAP), Metalworking Industries Association of the Philippines (MIAP), and Philippine Metalcasting Association, Inc. (PMAI).
At present, there are about 170 firms in the tool and die industry, mostly SMEs, currently providing input materials to key manufacturing activities of the country, including automotive and electronics manufacturing. These are engaged in such activities as die casting and forging; electronics and semiconductor tooling; metal stamping; and plastic, rubber, and packaging.
Despite the presence of local manufacturers, there is still a significant amount of imported tool and die products making its way into the country – indicating that local supply remains insufficient to cover domestic demand. With the country poised to be the next manufacturing hub in Asia, the Philippines is a good investment destination for manufacturing and offers much opportunities for tool and die enterprises.
The manufacture of tool and die products is among the preferred activities listed in the IPP. This covers the production of dies and molds, research & development, and technical vocational education and training institutions.
Launched in June 2014 under the DOST’s Makinarya at Teknolohiya para sa Bayan (Makibayan) Program, the Die and Mould Solution Center (DMSC) aims to enhance the competitiveness of the local tool and die sector through the acquisition of the needed technology and facilities to support the competitiveness in the localization of currently imported dies and moulds.
Hosted at the DOST’s Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC), the expected output of the DMSC include acquisition of design and simulation software for plastic injection moulds and stamping dies through offering translation of Computer-Aided Design into Computer-Aided Manufacturing. The DMSC also strives to complement and upgrade the present CNC Machines at the MIRDC to include CNC High Speed Machining Centers, 5-axis CNC Multi-tasking Machines, CNC EDM Sinker/Drill/Wirecut, LASER Welding Machine and Surface Grinders.
The DMSC also offers a common service facility for the local tool and die makers under a facility-sharing scheme at reasonable rates. The MIRDC is also gearing up to provide consultancy and training on specialized techniques and procedures relevant to tool, die and mould-making.
The tool and die industry Technical Working Group (TWG) conducts meetings to discuss and address industry concerns and issues. It also serves as a venue to coordinate the industry’s projects and programs, particularly the Tool and Die Making and Design Training Program, whose objective is the upgrading of the capability of the industry by expanding the pool of trained and highly-skilled die and mold designers. It seeks to address the deficiency in the supply of skilled manpower for the industry.
The program was piloted in July 2014. It was designed for six (6) months for a batch of 20 trainees, mostly graduates of Tool and Die Engineering Technology course from the Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), or Mechanical Engineering graduates. Most of the trainees came from PDMA member companies. The TWG, PDMA and MIRDC crafted the curriculum for the pilot Training Program, including the selection criteria and requirements for the trainees.
In 2015, four sessions of the 6-month training funded under the MRP have been arranged to graduate 80 die and mold makers and designers.
Metals Industry Research and Development Center Compound,
Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan,
Taguig, Metro Manila 1631
Tel. No.: (632) 837-0431 to 38 loc. 463 / 837-0764
Telefax: (632) 838-7878 / 837-0430
Industry and Investments Building,
385 Senator Gil Puyat Ave.,
Makati City, Philippines
Tel. No.: (632) 890-9329; 897-6682 loc. 259