As the clock marches toward the stroke of midnight entering us into 2019, we are continually looking ahead for the latest trends and what will drive the injection molding business in 2019. These five topics are expected to impact injection molding in the next year, so here’s a quick preview of what you should expect to see next year:
If you’ve read the latest report on China not buying up scrap materials in 2018, you can expect that recycling will be more of a topic of conversation in 2019. With a small percentage of plastics recycled in 2018, the loss of the exportation out of the US means we will be faced with the decision for putting more in landfills or recycling ourselves. Most of what is put in landfills is food packaging currently, but the topic of recycling should affect all facets of plastics including injection molding.
Software Revisions Making Business Better
In 2019 there will be software revisions for Solid Works and Mold Flow just to name a couple ways that injection molds are designed and validated before the first cut of steel is made. These revisions should make designing molds easier, more predictable, and have better results comparing data to reality. It should make business better by costing less for design and manufacturing while yielding better profits.
Bio-Resins Continue to Rise in Popularity
We mentioned bio-resins in 2017 as something that would start to gain traction as an option for molding because oil would become more expensive and less available as a commodity. Looking into 2019, we expect that bio-resins will continue to gain traction in popularity as they have less environmental impact than an oil or petroleum based resin. Considering the recycling options for bio-resins, they should become a better and more viable alternative for commercial use in 2019.
Adding Metals, Ceramics, and Carbides into Molding
A few years ago you would have laughed at the thought of injection molding metals, ceramics, and carbides. They could only be poured, machined, or formed through heat and pressure, right? Not anymore. The technology is finally becoming available to injection mold materials that once weren’t a consideration. In 2019 you can expect to see some injection molded products hit the market with materials never thought an option for molding in this manner.
Reinforced Plastics Start Replacing Metals and Thick Plastics
There are currently many metal and thick plastic products on the market that need the large thickness to keep shape and live up to their durability requirements. You can expect that reinforced plastics are going to start replacing thick metal parts and thick plastic parts. Reinforced plastics are composed of polymer composites with fibers in the plastic that add strength while reducing weight and thickness requirements. The material costs may go up, but the overall cost of the product can go down if the correct application and material is chosen. Expect to see refinements in these composite material making lighter and cheaper parts available in the coming year.
If you have a new project in mind for 2019, we’d like to discuss it with you. The advancement of the injection molding industry is ever evolving and we can help you decide on the best route for your design. Contact us to discuss the intent of the part or component and how many parts are needed. Our experts can have a rapid prototype available within a few days, and we can engineer a solution for the finished product.