Progress of the dies and molds industry and the role of the German immigration network in Brazil: Case studies in ABC districts in Sao Paulo, Resende, and Joinville

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Sao Pauro, Brazil (2018)


“dies and molds industry, ” and “immigration.”, ” “capacity building, ” “engineers and craftsmen, ” “global value chain, ” “industrial clusters, ” “international competitiveness, ” “production and innovation, ” “supply and demand, ” “supply chain, ” “supporting industries, ” “technological education


Progress of the dies and molds industry and the role of the German immigration network in Brazil: Case studies in ABC districts in Sao Paulo, Resende, and Joinville

Toshiyuki Baba (Hose University, Japan)

Key words: “dies and molds industry”, “supporting industries”, “production and innovation”, “international competitiveness”, “global value chain”, “supply chain”, “industrial clusters”, “capacity building”, “technological education”, “engineers and craftsmen”, and “immigration”.

1. Introduction: Purpose and back ground of this research
The aim of this paper is to consider the progress of dies and molds industry in Brazil. Dies and molds are the apparatus for realizing idea and design of automobiles to actual products. Dies and molds are metallic tools that produce many copies of the same product precisely and speedily. Materials that are processed and formed in dies and molds are many such as plastics, metals, glass fibers, glasses, rubbers, and polystyrene foams.
Automobiles are manufactured to be assembled from many different components and parts, most of which are made through the use of dies and molds. Many dies and molds are needed to make any mass produced commodity. For producing one automobile, we need several tens of thousands of dies and molds.
Dies and molds contribute not only to qualities such as appearance, performance and accuracy, but also to improvements in productivity and stability. For the automobile industry, which many developing countries would like to promote and expand, dies and molds are essential. In many developing countries, they could not supply the efficient quality of dies and molds and they depended upon imports from advanced countries.
Also for advanced countries, dies and molds industry is very important, not only for production itself but also in R&D process. One needs to bear in mind the following. How can one make the designed shapes precisely with the materials one desires? Is it possible to stabilize mass production? Is it possible to attain a desirable level of performance? These issues are solved by developing methods to process new materials, the unification of plural processes with many components and parts, substantial weight reductions, improved resistance to corrosion, better strength and productivity, methods to cut and shape difficult working materials, the manufacture of complex shapes, integral molding using more than two types of materials, cost reductions, and so on. This can all be achieved through the development of suitable dies and molds. No matter whether the R&D is an “integral type” or a “module type”, dies and molds are essential tools for realizing the new idea of making a design for a competitive commodity. The development stages of industrialization in a country are deeply connected to the ability to develop and make suitable dies and molds.

2. Research questions, methods and data
In this research, the author would like to analyze following research questions. How is the international competitiveness of Brazilian dies and molds? How is the supply chain of Brazilian dies and molds in global value chain of them? How do global automobile players evaluate Brazilian dies and molds? How does it positioned the Brazilian dies and molds in global development stages? Do they have good dies and molds clusters in Brazil such as advanced countries? How does it positioned the level of technologies and skills of engineers and craftsmen of dies and molds in Brazil? How does they learn skills and technologies?
In order to analyze the international competitiveness and the global supply chain, the author uses trade statistics of UN comtrade from 1989 to 2016. For considering another research questions, he conducted several field studies and visited tens of dies and molds users and suppliers in Brazil. For analyzing the international competitiveness of dies and molds, the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) is used. The GCI ranges from -1 to 1, with values close to 1 indicating strong international competitiveness and close to -1 indicating weak international competitiveness. GCI of Brazilian dies in 2016 is calculated as “-0.54”. It of Brazilian mold in 2016 is calculated as “-0.63”. Many dies and molds are imported by such as China, South Korea and Japan. GCI values of them are indicated that the competitiveness of Brazilian dies and molds are week.
Why did it turn out this result? Dies and molds are essential industry for automobile production. Automobile production in Brazil has a long history. It already started around 1920s. After 1950s, Brazilian government had struggled to grow automobile industry.
Isn’t dies and molds industry developed well? Don’t they have enough skill and technology to make hi-quality dies and molds for automobile production? Are there any other reasons which cause above result? To consider these questions, the author has conducted case studies of ABC district in Sal Paulo, Curitiba and Joinvile, in Brazil. In Joinville where is the German immigrant city and has one of the biggest dies and molds cluster in Brazil, the author found that German immigration network was very important to build skills and technologies of dies and molds in this area. The author also would like to refer this point.

(Acknowledgements: This research was supported by JSPS KAKENHI 26301024)

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