The plastic injection molding industry is continuously evolving. According to Global Market Insights, it is an industry that is worth more than $162 billion. Industry sectors such as packaging, general construction, consumer goods, medical, automotive industry, and more benefit from the expansion and development of this industry.
However, when it comes to trends, some are come and go, while others tend to turn into standard practices applied across the industry and accepted by any injection molding service.
Here is a list of major trends that will persist not only in 2020 but in the years after as well.
Last year, there was a lot of talk about how much plastic waste is generated and how much of it is going to the landfills. As a result, we’ve seen many initiatives that spread the awareness of plastic trash.
It is fair to say that the entire plastic industry, not just injection molding, was under immense pressure.
Due to awareness of the consumer, more and more businesses opted for plastic products made of recyclable materials. The trend is expected to last well beyond this year, and it can easily turn into a new standard.
That might be bad news for some types of plastic. However, unless the recycling industry doesn’t evolve soon, there won’t be anything to do about that.
Speaking of raised awareness and recycling, bioplastics are becoming more and more popular. Bio-plastics comes from renewable biomass such as sugarcane or corn. It’s made from renewable resources and can be naturally recycled.
According to industry experts, the demand for bioplastics is expected to grow 20% annually. That’s a substantial growth that will have a massive impact on the injection molding industry.
Improved automation driven by AI
There are already several promising startups that are making waves in the plastic injection molding industry. Their algorithms and solutions are already proven to further optimize the plastic flow within the injection mold. The increased accuracy leads to fewer tests and refinement, which is a big part of the production process.
In the last decade or so, the aerospace industry took advantage of many engineered resins that made it possible to create plastic products featuring superior features. Many of those plastics were even used to replace traditional metal components.
Thanks to technological advancements, those engineered resins are no longer expensive to produce while bringing lots of performance improvements.
Experts predict that their impact will be felt in almost every industry that relies on plastic products as the demand will be exponential.
Single-use plastics and cardboards are expected to be replaced by molded packaging that can be continuously reused. This is also part of our newly found green awareness and globalization.
Experts predict that we will see increased demand for thinner packaging that can retain its strength over a longer period.
The 2020 pandemic might have slowed down some of the trends, but they are almost unavoidable. The raised awareness and new technology are here to dictate where the industry will go from here.
There is no doubt that those that can follow the trends will remain competitive in the injection molding industry, while all others will most likely be left on the margins of the industry.