The resin shortage has injection molders and the larger plastics industry struggling to find balance. The late-February storm that blew into Texas and shut down 80% of U.S. resin production was the catalyst, but only one contributing factor.1
Industry authorities point to several reasons why resin supply and resin cost continue to fluctuate and how the ripple effect impacts suppliers and injection molders. A snapshot of current pricing illustrates the topsy-turvy landscape:
OEMs across many industries can attest to the benefits of plastic injection molding. It’s ideal for consistent, affordable production of a wide range of high-quality complex plastic parts that can withstand about any environment.
That’s reason enough to rank injection molding high on the list of go-to solutions, but there’s more. To better understand how and why manufacturers use the process, let’s take a look at the individual merits of the top 14 benefits of plastic injection molding (listed in no particular order):
Confusion about which plastics align with a particular application can cause uncertainty about if and when to use custom injection molding. As a result, OEMs may not take advantage of how plastics benefit product design.
“Thermoplastic” and “thermoset” sound similar and both plastics categories offer choices appropriate for complex applications in a range of markets. However, it's the properties and processing behaviors of the materials within the categories that ultimately reveals the best choice for your injection molding project.
On September 28, 2020, the world reached the sad and sobering milestone of 1 million deaths caused by COVID-19. In the three ensuing months, approximately 625,000 more deaths were added to the tally, and the nearly 73 million active cases around the global are added to daily — and at astounding rates.1
The pandemic has populations scared and experts stymied as to how to manage and eventually eradicate the virus. For obvious reasons the medical and healthcare industries are leading the charge in terms of innovation, with antimicrobial resins and antimicrobial polymers playing major roles in effective solutions.
The overall safety and performance of a vehicle is dependent, in part, on the plastic components used throughout the vehicle. Many people think that when it comes to cars, plastic parts are features like the dashboard, seats and floor mats. But thermoplastics are used in much more important places throughout a vehicle, many of them under the hood in the car’s powertrain and fuel systems.
One of the main advantages of using injection-molded components is versatility in the plastics available for specific, often complex, applications.
Addressing plastics needs early in the design process is ideal, as is partnering with an experienced custom injection molder with plastics-specific expertise. Working together ensures the plastics have the characteristics needed for the job, and that materials-based complications will not arise during design and molding.
Controlling costs is a huge part of any project. Materials can be expensive, especially advanced or specially engineered resins, so you want to select the right plastic and get as much bang for your materials buck as you can. One way to do this is the proper use of plastic regrind.
Using color in medical device design is both practical and a business strategy. Switches and keyboard buttons, for example, might be grouped and color-coded for user-friendliness and improved functionality.1 Medical device color is also used aesthetically to complement surroundings, and strategically to carry through OEM branding on medical devices.
What does 2020 hold for the plastics industry? Several trends that emerged in 2019 continue to be refined and amplified: