Vallourec's Venture into Metal Injection Molding

  • Reference: HBS-607S22

  • Year: 1991

  • Geographic Setting: France

  • Publication Date: Nov 25, 1996

  • Fecha de edición: Apr 3, 1998

  • Source: HBSP (USA)

  • Type of Document: Case

  • Company: $40 million revenues

  • Industry Setting: Iron & steel;Injection molds;Manufacturing

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Vallourec, a leading maker of seamless tubing, developed a radically new technology that used steel powders to create the tubes. To ensure a supply source, Vallourec ultimately had to acquire its supplier of metal powder, and then, to build the volume required to reduce its cost, Vallourec had to create other markets for its powders. One of these was the injection molding of powdered metal parts. Vallourec first sought licensees for its process and, finding none, had to integrate into making molded parts itself. The case describes how Vallourec developed its technology and then built a business to explain it.


Business models Diversification Innovation Licensing Technological change Vertical integration