The 1,250 landfills in the United States are projected to reach maximum capacity within the next few decades. Pair that with the fact that, globally, 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled, and the devastation of the eco-crisis becomes shockingly real.
Protecting the planet is everyone’s responsibility, including — and perhaps especially — corporations routinely using eco-sensitive materials. As a custom injection molder, Kaysun handles thousands of tons of plastics annually which are processed into injection-molded parts.
For decades, U.S. manufacturers leveraged the benefits of globalization. The lower costs, lower wages, and competitive final product price points of the global supply chain were powerful incentives for using overseas suppliers.1
But 2020 changed everything.
Pandemic-related import shortages, fuel and freight cost spikes, and extended delivery-time delays made the once-attractive total cost of offshoring much less appealing to OEMs. The low bottom-line price of an overseas supplier no longer outweighed the benefits of partnering with U.S.-based suppliers. Manufacturers migrated production — and a projected 350,000 jobs in 2022 alone — back to the United States.2
Consumer applications are diverse. Simply having products on the market isn't enough to build a customer base or keep pace with the competition.
Understanding the latest plastic injection molding industry trends — and partnering with a custom injection molder to apply them in creating highly differentiated products — translates to sustained success. It also gives you greater control over quality, cost, and time to market.
Injection molding industry trends suggest that a number of factors influence applications within the consumer market, such as:
When it comes to injection molding partners, OEMs have two options: commodity or custom. In essence, the choice is that of pared-down services or comprehensive problem-solving. Both approaches have their merits, and the application often drives the decision.
However, if framed as a value-add for an OEM beyond immediate project need, custom injection molders often win the day. Their advanced capabilities and in-house services streamline supply chains — a quality and cost management win for OEMs — but there’s more. When a sophisticated process like plastic injection molding assembly is called for, custom injection molders are instrumental in buying down risk.
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
Outsourcing has long been a practical solution for manufacturers looking to keep budgets in check. Low-cost countries generally provide attractive price points for labor and products, especially when compared against those charged in North America. The lower the cost, the higher the competitive advantage.
The past several weeks have seen a whirlwind of collective emotion. The impact of COVID-19 is challenging all of us to reassess our priorities, appreciate things we tend to otherwise take for granted, and do our parts to protect each other by staying safer at home.
What does 2020 hold for the plastics industry? Several trends that emerged in 2019 continue to be refined and amplified:
The quality of plastic components is, in part, determined by the injection molder you choose. Properly vetting new, different, or specialized vendors involves qualifying a pool of potential injection molding partners.