Today’s consumers are not content with yesterday’s products and are always…
A Full Service Injection Molding and Engineering Partner is Needed More Than Ever
The plastic raw material shortage affecting many industries is the end result from a confluence of factors, and continues to impact markets with price increases and delivery delays well into 2022. The need has never been greater to align with suppliers who can help navigate the supply chain issues plaguing those who rely on plastics for their business’ profitability.
The reasons for the plastic raw material shortage are numerous and diverse. The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, has been a major factor and contributed heavily. This led to further problems such as supply-side bottlenecks and logistical challenges. Production issues have also increased the scarcity of raw materials.
The current state of plastic raw materials first began to take shape two years ago with the onset of the pandemic. Many plastics suppliers reduced stocks based on uncertainties about COVID’s expected effects on the market, but the changes were not the ones anticipated. Instead, consumer demand surged and this was compounded by the need for plastics in answering the challenges presented by the pandemic. For instance, PPE was desperately needed everywhere and required plastics for production. Demand for consumer electronics for remote work and schooling, appliances or ‘white goods,’ and do-it-yourself home products for instance all increased dramatically.
In 2020, the worst hurricane season in years negatively affected hydrocarbon extraction and processing in the Gulf of Mexico and the American Gulf Coast. It included two back-to-back hurricanes hitting Louisiana within two weeks. Winter Storm Uri devastated Texas and caused extensive damage to plastics component chemical processing and manufacturing plants along the Gulf Coast.
Logistical issues have continued to grow throughout the pandemic with packed shipping ports, a scarcity in shipping containers, and a lack of personnel to drive needed materials across the country leading to delays. In addition, ongoing labor shortages in the U.S. have left many warehouse and distribution center managers wondering if they’ll be able to keep up. According to a survey from Instawork, 75 percent of light industrial businesses don’t feel prepared for 2022 and 60 percent struggled to keep pace in 2021.
There is some good news: Q4 2021 saw commodity resins (polypropylene and polyethylene) more available and at lower prices. But, for many manufacturers and injection molding partners the reality is that highly engineered resins haven’t yet found the same balance. Resins with flame retardant properties, UV additives, glass fibers, and other additives remain constrained.
Clearly, with all of the above accounted for, the need for OEMs to secure a partnership with a proven, certified injection molding company has never been greater.
Delivered On Time with Deluxe: Operating 24 hours a day with three shifts, we deliver injection molding projects on time with 55 dedicated machines. Learn more here.
How an Ideal Partner Addresses the Plastic Raw Material Shortage
Given the state of the market for plastics, OEMs will want to work with an injection molding partner that not only delivers high-quality finished products but also can help alleviate the issues surrounding the raw material shortage.
You’ll want a partner that has the scope and reach to be able to source alternative materials versus more common resins. The ability to reach out to multiple raw material suppliers on your behalf will find the best options for your specific needs. The right partner will also have the buying power to acquire those materials and do more to keep your project on budget and on time.
With the plastic raw material shortage it’s also essential to make the most of the material once it’s acquired. The ideal injection molding partner will have a quality management program and processes in place, and can add value with part design and engineering and a host of speciality services ranging from manual and robotic assembly, inventory management, custom packaging, warehousing and more.
Given the delicate state of OEM supply chains, you’ll also want a partner equipped to handle reshoring efforts. Placing projects with US-based vendors gives OEMs more control in the quality and accessibility, and removes much of the unpredictability of overseas arrangements. Long shipping delays, a lack of containers, and backlogged ports can be sidestepped with a domestic vendor. Streamlined, reshored supply chain management will be a strong consideration for manufacturers as 2022 unfolds.
Mold Your Next Project: Deluxe Plastics has all the mold-related services you need, from mold-flow analysis to in-house making and repair capabilities. Learn more here.
Deluxe Plastics is the Ideal Partner You Need
As a full-service custom injection molder, Deluxe Plastics is able to take your project from conception to a fully functional, molded part. Our team of engineers will work together with your company to implement your design ideas, select the best material and offer professional guidance. With three facilities encompassing 290,000 sq. feet of operating space, we perform tool building, maintenance, molding and any secondary operation your project may require. We’re the injection molding partner that can help you navigate the plastic raw material shortage.
Since our inception in 1928, we’ve been dedicated to delivering superior products and services to all of our clients. We’re proud to be ISO 9001:2015 certified and serve a wide variety of industries including the commercial, industrial, appliance, and hygiene markets.