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Pressure-Forming Wins in Plastics Manufacturing Popularity Contest

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Plastics manufacturing is an industry in transition. As with players in industries working with other materials, plastics manufacturers have revealed themselves to be entirely open to switching up the procedures they employ in their pursuit of the most efficient and effective method for creating their products. And the belle of the plastics ball right now? Pressure-forming.


Against a backdrop of shrinking interest in other processes, pressure-forming enjoyed a dramatic upswing in popularity this past year. This means of producing plastic creations scores big in a whack of categories, including quality, affordability (in the low-to-mid-volume range), and inherent abilities to mould-in-colour and create multi-part assemblies. Plastics manufacturing professionals are taking note, it seems, and are increasingly picking pressure-forming above the other options, including the age-old favourite, injection moulding.


So says the 2015 annual plastics manufacturing industry survey results released by California plastics manufacturer Ray Products.

The survey, now in its third year, asked some 4,000 plastic-manufacturing professionals—engineers, administrators, and manufacturing professionals in automotive, medical, and high-tech manufacturing—about both their activities over the past 12 months and their plans for the next 12 months. A comparison of year-over-year data reveals prevailing trends in this manufacturing field.


Some highlights:

  • Pressure-forming manufacturing increased by more than 10% over the last year.

  • Sheet metal and injection moulding experienced the largest declines in popularity, down 17% and 12%, respectively.

  • Domestic plastics manufacturing (in the States) has suffered a 10% decline (with just 54% of survey respondents’ plastic manufacturing taking place domestically, versus 64% in 2014).

  • Respondents’ satisfaction with offshore plastics manufacturing dipped by 4%.

  • Thermoforming accounted for 24% of respondents’ plastics manufacturing activity over the past 12 months; they expect that number to grow to 28% over the next 12 months.

  • Almost 60% of survey respondents indicated that 100% recyclability is important to them—an all-time high for the organization’s annual surveys.

  • Finally, survey respondents say that quality is the most important attribute they look for in a plastics manufacturing vendor.

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