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Episode 9: Continuously Improving Upon Global Tooling and Plastics Manufacturing

Tháng Năm 04, 2023

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Meet Marc Weinmann, Owner and President of VEM

"If you do things right and if you focus on quality and on time delivery and don't take the shortcuts, then you can be — relatively quickly — relatively successful," says Marc Weinmann, Owner and President of VEM, about the early years of creating and scaling VEM, a plastics manufacturing and tooling company.

VEM started as an electronics company in Hong Kong in 1998, printing circuit boards and doing assembly, until a customer asked them to make a plastic housing around the circuit board. After that initial creation, they moved more into tool making and plastics, opening locations first in China, then in other locations around the world. Today, VEM offers a full range of services including prototyping, production mold making, injection molding, component sourcing, testing, packaging, and more, in the medical, aerospace, automotive, and consumer plastics space. 

Of course, global manufacturing companies, especially those creating medical devices, face not only complexity challenges but they need to ensure high-quality standards as well. How does VEM do so? Weinmann tells us in our new episode of Manufacturing the Future

Finding Solutions to Tool-Making Challenges

"You have to always be better, faster, and cheaper. And now, of course, the fourth component is coming that you have to be environmentally friendly," says Weinmann in our podcast episode. How is VEM finding ways to be more environmentally friendly? One way is through their waste reduction, a challenge that they’re solving through technology and automation.

But improving processes means measuring them to begin with. For VEM, it's essential to have an ERP system and other software tracking systems in place. Those systems "generate reports, especially for cost, for waste, and for the timeline," Weinmann explains. "We're always having reviews afterwards and see, hey, how can we do things a little bit better? How can we do things a little bit faster? There is not the big steps we're doing, but a little here, a little there."

Another challenge? Keeping workers in various locations across the globe communicating and working towards common goals. "Our tool shops make the molds for our injection jobs, so there has to be a lot of communication internally," says Weinmann. "We have fifteen different nationalities on our payrolls. And it's a little bit challenging because there are different people, different religions, different races, different ideas."

In This Episode

Despite having been in the tooling and plastic injection molding industry for 30 years, VEM continues to evaluate its processes, adopt new tools and technology to improve efficiencies and reduce costs and waste, and continues to find ways to increase collaboration at its sites around the world. Listen to our conversation with Marc Weinmann to learn more about how to prioritize and execute operational excellence at scale.


  • How Weinmann's career and VEM evolved from an electronics manufacturer in the late 1990s to a premiere plastics manufacturing and tooling company, with locations around the world, serving the medical, aeroscape, automotive, and consumer plastics industries.
  • What type of technology VEM uses to design in-house molds, and why they're looking to 3D steel printing as their future.
  • Why VEM is always looking for new technology to not only make them better, faster, and cheaper, but to make them more environmentally friendly, too, by increasing efficiency and reducing waste.
  • The software that VEM uses to track their production, generate reports, and keep employees around the globe aligned, and how they use that tracking to measure and improve their processes.
  • The future of manufacturing, including how innovations like steel printing and automation will change the industry.
  • How VEM manages its multiple global locations, keeps employees communicating, and creates synergies between locales.
  • Three pieces of advice for manufacturing leaders looking to improve their processes, or for those just getting started.