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Product Development in Portugal

October 6, 2003

Filed under: review — Terry Wohlers @ 08:04

Portugal is known for its prominence in moldmaking. Leiria, Portugal, and the surrounding area, is home to the highest concentration of moldmakers in the country. About 90% of the molds are exported, including about 11% to the U.S.

While attending last week’s VRAP 2003 conference (see below), I had the pleasure of visiting VANGEST, a company made up of 16 small companies that are in the mold and product development business. The company, located a short distance from Leiria, takes projects from concept to production tooling. It offers advanced industrial design, engineering, rapid prototyping, urethane castings, tooling, and precision inspection.

VANGEST focuses on producing very small and large parts—jobs that are among the most difficult to complete. I was especially impressed with the products that the company has tackled over the recent past. Compared to other companies in product development, it became clear to me that VANGEST is a world class organization. Thank you Victor Oliveira (CEO of the company) for your invitation and for taking time to give me a tour of your company.