PLACENTIA, Calif.—Kipe Molds Inc. has had to overcome an identity crisis of sorts in recent years.
In surveying customers, the Placentia-based maker of molds, cold-runner technology and other accessory tooling—most of it for use with liquid silicone rubber applications—found it was considered expensive. It also was viewed as being a top-notch engineering company, but not necessarily as a maker of molds, despite the history in the business of founder and President George Kipe.
“Why we are viewed as being more expensive has nothing to do with us jacking up the price,” said Brint Kipe, company general manager and George's son. “It has to do with our designs being more complex than our competitors. They're more complex because dad has 43 years of experience, 35 of that in LSR.”
Kipe Molds tries out roughly 95 percent of the tooling before it leaves its shop, according to the younger Kipe. If there's a problem, the firm won't ship it, inviting the customer to come out and look at it.
“All of that costs money,” Brint Kipe said. “Instead of delivering a tool they have to figure out, we're delivering a tool that's gone through all of that de-bug phase. In the end, they take the tool and just run with it.”