In the auto parts production area, multiple manipulators are working tirelessly. Pieces of auto parts are removed from the mold… This is a scene a reporter saw in an automobile factory recently. It is precisely with the mold production technology that the production of a car from the engine, the hood, the roof cover, and the bumper can be realized here. Not only that, even many parts of plastic barrels, cups, rice cookers, telephones, computers, mobile phones and other products used in people’s daily life are all processed by molds. Therefore, the mold is also known as “the first of all industries and the mother of industry”.
Relevant data show that in recent years, the annual sales revenue of my country’s mold manufacturing industry has exceeded 180 billion yuan. In the mold manufacturing industry, automotive panel stamping dies and optical plastic molding dies are widely used. In these two areas, the number of patent applications of Chinese companies has increased rapidly in recent years, but compared with foreign giants, domestic companies still have a certain gap. Facing the patent “matrix” laid down by international giants, experts suggest that domestic companies must increase investment in personnel training, mold design and manufacturing refinement, and improve their own technical strength and patent reserves through continuous innovation to enhance corporate competition force.
The rapid rise of Chinese companies
In recent years, with the rapid development of China’s automotive and electronics markets, the mold market has also shown a booming situation. In particular, many internationally well-known mold manufacturers have seized the Chinese mold market by virtue of their technical advantages in the fields of automotive panel stamping molds, injection molds and other fields, and formed a situation of “encircling” Chinese companies.
In order to understand the development status and patent layout of the mold field, the Patent Office Examination Management Department and the Machinery Invention Examination Department of the State Intellectual Property Office implemented the 2014 patent analysis popularization and promotion project “Patent Technology Analysis in the Mold Industry”. Researchers from the research group told our reporter that Chinese companies are rising stars in the two major areas of automotive panel stamping molds and optical plastic molding molds.
“As of July 31, 2014, in the field of automotive panel stamping dies, the number of patent applications by domestic applicants has increased rapidly. Among them, 1,378 patent applications have been filed in the Chinese market, such as Tianjin Automobile Mould Co., Ltd., Ruihu Automobile Die & Mould Co., Ltd. has submitted multiple patent applications.” Researchers of the research group introduced to our reporter.
The relevant person in charge of the Intellectual Property Department of Tianjin Automobile Mould Co., Ltd. introduced to this reporter that at present, the company has submitted nearly 100 patent applications in the field of molds. The technical content involves car side molds, automobile door inner panel molds, and body stamping parts. And many other fields.
“As a rising star, my country’s mold companies have great potential for future development. However, at present, in the field of molds, Chinese companies are still in their infancy. Although the number of patent applications is growing rapidly, the patent strength is still not comparable to that of foreign giants.” Researcher of the research group Express.
Multinational giants have obvious advantages
It is understood that in the field of mold technology, the advantages of foreign companies are very obvious. The researchers of the research group gave an example: “As of July 31, 2014, in the field of optical plastic molding molds, applicants have submitted 1,625 related patent applications worldwide. Among them, Olympus submitted 103 patent applications and Kodak submitted There were 86 patent applications, and Johnson & Johnson submitted 40 patent applications; the applicant filed 440 patent applications in China, but in the Chinese market, there is only one Chinese company among the top ten patent applications.”
The reporter learned in the interview that for a long time, companies in Japan, Germany, the United States and other countries have been monopolizing the global mold market by virtue of their technological advantages in mold production. These corporate giants maintain a leading position in the development of high-precision and composite molds, especially in mold design and manufacturing technology. Established in 1919, Olympus is an early enterprise involved in optical lenses. During its development, through technological innovation, it has continuously adjusted and improved the local structure of the mold to improve the accuracy of mold technology molding. It is through active innovation that Olympus has become the company with the largest number of patent applications in the global mold industry, and it is also the company with the highest market share in this field.
Compared with Olympus, although Johnson & Johnson has not been involved in the field of optical plastic molding technology for a long time, its patent operation methods are very mature. “Because of the small number of patents in the mold field, Johnson & Johnson often submits multiple patent applications for an invention technology. These patent applications are linked together to strengthen patent protection. For example, in 1995, Johnson & Johnson submitted 14 patents. Application, the entire processing process of contact lenses has been fully patented.” The research team of the research team introduced.
Strengthen innovation to win initiative
Facing the “matrix” of patents that international giants such as Honda, Toyota, GM, Olympus, and Johnson & Johnson have already deployed in the field of molds, what kind of challenges are emerging Chinese companies facing, and how should they respond?
“China started late in the field of molds, and there is a certain gap between it and foreign giants in terms of technology research and development or patent layout. For example, in the research and development of automotive mold technology, Honda, Toyota, General Motors and other companies occupy an important position, and the domestic company Tianjin Automotive Mold Co., Ltd. and Ruihu Automobile Mould Co., Ltd. also have a certain number of patent applications, but the overseas patent layout is relatively weak; in the application of automobile molds, many basic patents are in the hands of foreign giants, and domestic automobile mold companies need to increase innovation In order to improve competitiveness.” said the relevant person in charge of the Intellectual Property Department of Tianjin Automotive Mould Co., Ltd.
In view of this situation, the person in charge believes that relevant Chinese companies should increase the research and development of core technologies in the mold field, continuously improve the level of process manufacturing, and strive to develop some refined and competitive mold technologies. In addition, domestic enterprises should actively carry out patent layout in domestic and foreign markets during product research and development.
In terms of optical plastic molding molds, domestic companies are in their infancy in terms of technology research and development and patent layout. “Domestic enterprises should increase their emphasis on mold technology and patent layout. While increasing R&D investment, they should actively cooperate with scientific research institutes to jointly develop related technologies.” Fangtian Software said in an interview with our reporter that domestic enterprises It is possible to acquire small companies with development potential or to acquire a R&D team of a certain company, which is also an important way to rapidly strengthen one’s own strength.
In view of the development status of Chinese companies in the field of molds, the research team of the research team put forward more specific development suggestions for domestic companies. “Refined manufacturing and information management of mold technology will be the future development direction.” Researchers of the mold research group said that domestic companies must learn and borrow advanced technologies from European and American companies on the one hand; on the other hand, they must strengthen cooperation between companies. Continuously improve competitiveness; in addition, relevant government departments should also issue corresponding support policies to support and guide enterprises to continuously increase innovation and actively carry out patent layout to take the lead in the competition in the mold market.
Link to this article：It’s time for domestic mold companies to break out of the siege!
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