In February, 2021, the plastics industry was devastated by a freak winter storm that laid waste to Texas power grids and 80% of U.S. resin production.1 As though the widespread after effects of the natural disaster weren’t enough for the plastics industry to handle, substantial polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) price hikes and a 30% diminishment of production capacity added to the burden.1
In the year since, prices remained volatile and sluggish supply chain logistics kept materials from timely distribution; yet, there seemed to be an undercurrent of optimism in the industry. PP and PE production capacity was on the upswing despite shipping woes. Resin prices were leveling off, if not slightly receding.2 The global resin shortage was presumably reaching a tipping point.
Unfortunately, the optimism was short-lived. Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Its impact waylaid the market’s potential recovery and further complicated ongoing industry challenges.
Quality drives performance in any product. For critical-use applications, the stakes are even higher. End-user safety, health, and lives could be jeopardized if a product malfunctions.
To mitigate high degrees of risk, manufacturers must have the utmost confidence in their injection molding partner’s experience with tight tolerance injection molding.
Supply chains are vital in any industry, yet they can be vulnerable to devastating disruption. The current supply chain upheaval drives the point home, but it should also give you pause.
Are you working with suppliers that can accurately pinpoint sources for every material, process, and shipment related to your orders and getting products to market? In turn, can you use this information to confidently manage your projects, vendors, and business? These questions — and answers — are crucial in understanding if you’re leveraging the benefits of supply chain mapping.
On April 12-14, 2022, the Anaheim Convention Center (Anaheim, California) will play host to the 13,000 attendees and 1,400 exhibitors of Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West 2022.
By 2024 the need for automotive plastics, parts, and innovations will push the value of the automotive plastics market to a projected $50 billion.1
As for the proliferation in the use of plastic, electric car sales and improvements undoubtedly contribute but they are not the sole cause. Traditional automobile manufacturers have also largely adopted a plastics-first mindset when it comes to certain design, engineering, and production best practices.
Repeatable and reliable part production isn’t a given when a project is first presented to Kaysun.
Well before the injection molding equipment is made ready for a run, experts in the in-house Quality Lab are at work gaining deep insights into the part design, thoroughly examining the part practicalities and potential pitfalls, and identifying areas for improvement. Kaysun project and quality control engineers and those of the customer collaborate to share knowledge, make adjustments, and arrive at the best possible production process, tooling, and application outcome.
There’s no such thing as a typical day at Kaysun. Then again, Kaysun isn’t your typical custom injection molder.
Undoubtedly, design engineers assume a lot of responsibility when developing parts with tight injection molding tolerances. When margins are as slim as +/- .001 inches in some medical, automotive, industrial, and consumer applications it’s a given that design drives injection-molded part performance. Likewise, the design is the first place to seek answers should something go wrong with the tight tolerance part.
Managing tight tolerance injection molding — and, by extension, taking some pressure off of designers — is done most effectively when you follow these three expert tips:
Viewing 2021 through the lens of the resin shortage, the year went out much like it came in.
Q4 found commodity resins polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) available in greater quantities at lower prices.1 However, for many manufacturers, custom injection molding partners, and other supply chain vendors, the late-year good news was overshadowed by resin shortage challenges that will likely continue to pervade the plastics industry in 2022.