Understanding the new injection molding industry trends and collaborating with a custom injection molder to apply them in the creation of highly differentiated products translates more easily into long-term success.

Fremont, CA: There are numerous consumer applications. Simply having products on the market is insufficient for developing a customer base or keeping up with the competition.

Understanding the new injection molding industry trends and collaborating with a custom injection molder to apply them in the creation of highly differentiated products translates more easily into long-term success. It also allows you to have more control over the quality, cost, and time to market.

According to injection molding industry trends, a variety of factors influence consumer market applications, including:

Industrial Robotics

The shortage of skilled labor is a paradox in the push for US-based manufacturing. An estimated 2.1 million manufacturing jobs will be unfilled by 2030, and 54 percent of manufacturers already report significant difficulty in finding qualified workers. 

The labor shortage is a difficult issue, but it has given rise to innovative solutions that allow for more work to be done with fewer people. Overall, industrial robotics is not a novel innovation.

Eco-Consciousness

Consumers in the US want to support businesses that prioritize recyclability and sustainability. According to a recent survey, 42 percent of respondents identify as eco-friendly buyers. Given that the US consumer products market is worth well over $600 billion ignoring the voice of closely half of the customer base is an expensive mistake.

Here come the resin substitutes. Bioplastics derived from renewable resources such as sugar, starches, and soy are gaining popularity in injection molding. Popular selections3 include:

• Thermoplastic Starch-based Plastics (TPS)
• Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)
• Polylactic Acid (PLA)
• Polybutylene Succinate (PBS)
• Polycaprolactone (PCL)

While these resin alternatives have many of the same properties as traditional injection molding materials, their biodegradability raises some concerns.

Durability, as well as cooling temperatures and moisture encountered during production, can be a problem. Reinforcing fillers, particulate fillers, and other additives that transform the structure of bioplastics without trying to rob them of their eco-friendliness can be used by injection molders with expertise in resin characteristics, behaviors, and selection to counteract these measures.