Plastic is a huge industry comprising of several players. Here, we’ll have a look at who they’re and what services or products they provide.
When asked to explain the plastic industry, a lot of people tend to focus first on the “plastics product manufacturers “.Let’s start with one of these manufacturers and we’ll radiate out to see who else assist these manufacturers before a product is finally produced and delivered to the consumers.
You can find 2 ways to explain what a supplier does – either by process (the plastics making methods they use), or by the they are serving (packaging, automotive, etc.). The ultimate product to be manufactured determines the type of processes to be used. It’s not necessary a manufacturer be built with all known processes. Most manufacturers are specialized in just one or two methods. Bigger plants may have 3 or 4 but it’s rarely possible to own every process under one roof since the selection of process is determined by the ultimate product and industry a manufacturer is supplying to. Eg, an organization that supplies to the electronic industry may have injection molding process to make TV casing and other components. Blow molding processes that are accustomed to make bottles are of little use to them.
Plastics are employed extensively by different industries. These industries includes: medical and pharmaceutical; packaging; electronic and electrical; automotive; toys; building and construction; home products; agriculture; and many more. Many manufacturers sell their plastic parts and products to others industries, some trade among themselves. Eg. Plastic bags manufacturers who specialize on producing bags will sell them to other plastics manufacturers for packaging purposes.
You can find various kinds of plastics materials. Within each kind of plastic materials, are very different grades – fitted to different products and for various kinds of processes. Eg. PP (polypropylene) is a common material and has many applications. However, PP materials which are useful for making plastic bags are very different from those that are accustomed to make car bumpers – although they could result from exactly the same material suppliers that are also referred to as Resin Producers.
Resin Producers are petrol-chemical plants that produce plastic resins – the raw material in making plastics. Here, they convert by-products from crude oil refineries to make plastic materials. Different resin producers specialize in various kinds of materials. They supply large quantities to manufacturers (those who consume a couple of hundred tons of exactly the same material monthly) and to Resin Traders.
Resin Traders buy the raw material from resin producers and sell to manufacturers in smaller quantities. A trader will often represent several resin producers thus providing manufacturers with a sizable choice of different materials.
Colorants and Additives Suppliers – Many materials are transparent or translucent in its natural state, colorants are added to provide it different shades of colors. Additives are chemical agents added to alter certain characteristics of a material. Eg. UV stabilizer is a common additive that is included with plastic materials to stop discoloration of the item from long contact with sunlight.
Compounders are companies that specializes in “mixing” materials, additives and colorants in large quantities. They operate large scale mixing machines that can handle mixing several tons of materials at a time. Compounded materials tend to be more consistent than those mixed by manufacturers in smaller quantities using small mixers.
Machine Suppliers provide manufacturers with machines that makes the product. Gone are the days where plastic products are shaped manually by hand. These machines form the trunk bone of every manufacturing plant and the device makers are categorized based on the process they’re specialize in. Such processes include Injection Molding, Blow Molding, Stretch Blow Molding, Blow Film, Profile Extrusion, Sheet Extrusion, Rotation Molding, Compression Molding, etc.
Auxiliary Equipments Suppliers supplies various supporting machines and equipments to simply help a seed run efficiently. corrugated plastic manufacturers Types of such machines are Hopper Dryers for drying materials, Mixers for mixing material, Robotics for extracting products from the device, material handling system, conveyor systems, etc.
Mold Fabricators – Molds are mounted onto the processing machines on which plastics part takes its form or shape. With respect to the process, some molds can be very complicated. Mold makers specialize in precision tools to cut blocks of steel into the desired shapes. With the help of advance CAD/CAM softwares (Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Machining), they supply the blueprint for the ultimate product.
Technical and Engineering Services – With respect to the industry that the maker is supplying to, some products require various standards adherence certification before their products are sold. Eg, car bumpers are afflicted by certain automotive standards to ensure that the part is strong enough to withstand collision impact and these companies provide such tests.
Secondary Processes is a very broad term. It generally describe the excess work that must be done after the parts are produced. This include printing, painting, polishing, trimming, etc. Although most manufacturers are built with some form of common secondary processes, some specialized process like chrome plating in many cases are carried out by the specialists.