The escalation of political, trade, and pandemic-related tensions have called manufacturers and their suppliers into question. Some supply chains are snapping under the strain, and OEMs are left to find answers for — and rectify — costly failures.
Nearly half of respondents to a recent Thomas Industrial poll placed “Fabricated Materials (machined, stamped, extruded, or molded material)” at the top of the list of things needed for supply chain stabilization and consistent production.1 With that comes close scrutiny of custom injection molding companies when OEMs are streamlining suppliers.
International trade tensions and pandemic-related developments have brought heightened awareness to reshoring. US-China decoupling has American manufacturers reviewing all of their overseas relationships, and 69% of respondents to a recent Thomas Industrial survey indicated they “are likely to bring manufacturing production and sourcing back to North America.”1
Given the unstable political and public health environments, it’s hardly a surprise that the majority of American companies in the manufacturing and industrial sectors are considering decoupling. In fact, about one-third of company leadership teams have already moved manufacturing out of China, or have action plans in place to do so within the next two to three years.1
Injection molding tooling is at the heart of injection molding. Whether it’s a complex application or simple part, plastic injection tooling – more specifically, tooling design – determines the quality of the injection molding process and the parts produced.
Medical device design engineers often make allowances for the impact that the molding process has on plastic part manufacturability. They carefully consider a variety of design factors like the materials chosen, the part shape and features, surface finish, and the properties of the tool itself. So, why involve an injection molder early in the medical device development phase?
Involving an experienced injection molder early in the design process safeguards against adverse outcomes that a designer may not have anticipated.
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.
Globally, the annual injection-molded plastics market is currently valued at approximately $260 billion, with a projected 5% CAGR over the next five years.1
These substantial numbers validate the continued and increasing reliance on injection-molded solutions for a variety of applications across industries. They also indicate how much the role of a custom injection molder has changed, shifting from general supplier to trusted partner.
OEMs across industries and disciplines continue to leverage the benefits of metal-to-plastic conversion. Faster manufacturing cycles and higher volumes — without compromising tight tolerances or durability — make plastic parts attractive alternatives.
Success in the injection molding business isn’t limited to having the right equipment or the latest technologies. It's a good start, of course, but it takes more to meet the needs of customers that require custom injection molding for complex applications completed under challenging time and cost constraints.
Custom injection molders must have top toolmakers in their supply chains that prioritize manufacturing excellence and customer service. Core to this philosophy is that toolmakers must treat the injection molders’ customers as their own.
Plastics are extremely versatile, making them sought-after materials across a range of industries. For instance, in the United States the transportation/automotive and construction industries are two of the three major markets that account for the more than $31 billion spent annually on plastic components and products.1