Injection Molded Plastics Market - Major Challenges and Global Opportunities

  • Published On : Jul 28, 2014

The global injection molded plastics market, which is the industry that manufactures plastic products by using the method of injection molding, has revolutionized the way in which daily-use products were earlier made. Items such as washers, knobs, power tools, car panels, furniture, computer monitors, and a lot more, could be produced this way. 

The method of injection molding plastics, also commonly called plastic injection molding, is an extremely popular and economical process used for manufacturing a variety of plastic products. 

The products manufactured from injection molding may greatly vary in their dimensions, applications and complexity.  This method requires an injection molding machine, raw plastic material and a mold. The manufacturing process of injection molded plastics is quite simple: molten plastic is injected into the specific mold. It is then allowed to cool and solidify in the mold itself. Finally, the end product is extruded from the mold. 

The plastics injection method was first used in 1868 by John Wesley Hyatt for the production of billiard balls. For this, he injected celluloid into a mold. By the time 1940s approached, this process had become an essential element of the manufacturing industry. In the current times as well, this technique is considered a major manufacturing technique in most application areas and allied industries.  

The end-user demand for inexpensive products, which is possible with a manufacturing process like injection molding has driven the injection molded plastics market in its nascent years and still continues to drive it. The enormous growth of two major industries where injection molded plastics find huge applications, i.e. the house-wares market and the packaging industry, is the other important reason why demand for injection molded plastics are always ripe on a global picture. 
However, as global concerns rise around the issue of rising piles of plastic waste throughout the world, a substantial portion of the global end-user of this industry, if not major, has already started making its shift to eco-friendly products. This may easily hamper the future growth of this industry in the coming years. 

Fluctuations in the price of crude oil also have an ill-effect on smooth functioning of any industry related with resins and plastics. This is, however, a usual phenomenon, and industries seem to have got used to it for all these years. But this factor certainly has a negative impact on the plastic industry, and subsequently on the injection molded plastics market.  

Global Injection Molded Plastics Market – Application-wise Segmentation:

According to its major application areas, the injection molded plastics market can be segmented as packaging, consumables and electronics, automotives and transportation, and building and construction. 

Amongst these sections within the injection molded plastics market, demands from the packaging industry produce the major chunk of revenues for this industry. In 2011, this section held nearly 31.9% shares of total global shares of the industry. In the same year, market shares of the consumables and electronics segment closely followed market share of the packaging industry, which stood at 30.1%. The section of consumables and electronics is also considered one of the fastest growing segments of the injection molded plastics market and is anticipated to observe growth at a compound annual growth rate of 5.1% in the coming 4-5 years. 

Global Injection Molded Plastics Market – Raw Material-wise Segmentation

The major raw materials used for injection molded plastics include polypropylene, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Amongst these, the most popular raw material is polypropylene. In 2011, it held nearly 36.2% shares of the market. Usage of ABS was followed by this, which garnered nearly 27% shares of the market in the same year. 

Geographically Active Regions in the Injection Molded Plastics Market:

The region of Asia Pacific represents one of the most populous as well as the most favorable market for various kinds of industries, mostly owing to the huge population density, improving economic conditions and rise in general disposable income of a major chunk of population in this region.  This is also true for the global injection molded plastics market. It is estimated that nearly 37.2% of the global demands for injection molded plastic products come from Asia Pacific region. 

It is estimated that the plastic injection molding market produced products of volume nearing 79,079.5 kilo tons in 2010. By 2018, this figure is expected to rise to 116,171.4 kilo tons. Market worth wise, the injection molded plastics market was worth nearly USD 168 billion in 2010 and could rise to USD 252 billion by 2018.
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