Learn about the hottest trends in the plastic injection molding industry.

With plastic injection molding being one of the most commonly-used plastic formation techniques with numerous industrial applications, the market is continually expanding and evolving. Custom made plastic injection molding parts present the perfect solution for numerous industries that are striving to produce a great volume of high-quality and cost-efficient parts. Such plastics are used in the production of complex and intricate shaped parts. The healthcare industry represents the fastest-growing application segment for the industry. Pregnancy test devices, blood sample analysis cuvettes, housings for needles are just a few of the preferred segments because of the lightweight, cost-effectiveness, and easy serializable properties that injection-molded plastic offers.

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The rise of the demand for these kinds of items is spiked by several growth drivers. Volatile prices of the most used raw materials coupled with the growing environmental concerns regarding their disposal increased construction spending in emerging markets, and Government support in the form of tax benefits are just a few of the reasons directly connected to the rise of plastic injection molding. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global injection molded plastics market size was valued at a staggering $258.2 billion in 2019 and it’s projected to grow furthermore. In this article, we look at some of the trends that are accelerating the steady progress of the plastic injection molding industry.

High-Performance Materials

One of the hottest trends within plastic injection molding makers is the use of lasting, corrosion-and-temperature resistant materials. As an example, manufacturers in the automotive industry are using these types of materials as a proven way to increase the longevity of components. This way, they are also lowering the weight of various parts of the finished product to improve the overall fuel efficiency of the produced vehicle. It’s estimated that every 10% reduction in vehicle weight results in a 5-7% reduction in fuel usage.

In addition, the use of eco-conscious plastics continues to gain traction in the industry since they produce a lower level of consequences on the environment. The most commonly used plastic materials in the automotive sector include Polypropylene, Polyurethane, and PVC.

Responsibility to Recycle

Instead of recycling it in their land, the US and other developed countries have been sending their plastic waste to China for the past 25 years. Since reporting to the UN Comtrade Database began in 1992, nearly 106 million metric tons of the world’s plastics set for recycling have been exported to China.

However, in 2018 China passed the National Sword Policy, banning plastic waste importing because of environmental policies and the hazardous effects on people’s health. Now it’s a growing trend for manufacturers and makers to generate a responsible recycling plan for the plastic scrap in an environmentally-friendly way.

Software Enhancements For Better Automation

Multiple software is offering updates and enhancements that improve the plastic part and injection mold designs, as well as the whole manufacturing process. This allows manufacturers to improve the design quality and accuracy of the parts from the very beginning and ensure lower costs and future savings.

The newest software programs also include the ability to simulate how melted plastic flows during the injection molding process, so makers are able to better predict manufacturing-related defects. Furthermore, the software will allow designers to evaluate and modify part manufacturability and make the necessary adjustments early in the design process.

Bigger Implementation Of Reinforced Plastics

As they typically exhibit low weight and high strength, the use of plastic composites is a growing trend for plastic injection molding makers in 2020. Typical fibers being injected into plastics include materials such as carbon-based fiber, glass, and aramid. The industries benefiting from usage of reinforced plastics products include aerospace, automotive, construction, power, nanomaterials, and more.

The use of such materials in manufacturing is an appealing trend because the per-product costs are greatly reduced while maintaining the much-needed part strength. In industries like automotive and aerospace, the reduction of part weight can increase the value of the final products through better fuel economy and improved aerodynamics.

Final Thoughts

Not all innovative ideas work out for various reasons, but the industry will continue to evolve with better technology, environmental conditions, and finer material specifications. Knowing the advantages of technology and the latest trends as well, it shouldn’t take too much time before you implement plastic injection molding in your field of work.

About the Author
Ronan Ye is the founder and managing director of 3ERP which is one of China’s leaders in rapid prototyping and 3D printing. Upon completing his college degree at Guangzhou University in International Business with honors, Ronan has been heavily involved in China’s fast growing rapid prototyping and manufacturing industry. He really has grown up in and with the industry here in China learning about it at a young age. Hence, his knowledge of the overall industry is second to none and hence why many global companies like BMW, VW, and Lamborghini rely on his technical as well as design expertise.