Myths of Plastics Manufacturing: Manufacturers Are Cavemen05 Apr 2018
Manufacturing is an industry set in its ways. For decades, there’s been no crisis of how to make things, and what people need to do to keep it running day in, day out. For this reason, many people inside and outside the industry believe that manufacturing is in the Stone Age, run by cavemen, operating inefficiently. Even if plastics manufacturing hasn’t made big technology leaps in decades, this stereotype is far from the truth, and here’s the one reason why.
No industry in a Stone Age could continue to meet market demand, year over year, when growth is exponential.
Over the last 50 years, global plastic production has increased 20x to meet the exponential growth of consumerism.
Plastics has met this demand by scaling horizontally. More production means more machines, more resin, bigger facilities, more maintenance and technical support staff. This tried-and-true, horizontal approach to scaling manufacturing acknowledges a truth, the industry works efficiently enough to keep most parties happy and making money. This is the reason manufacturing hasn’t fundamentally changed in decades: there has been no tipping point in the cost of scaling horizontally that forces manufacturers to do things differently.
This is true for the past and present, but is not necessarily true for the future. Times are changing quickly for manufacturers, and margins are shrinking because of increased labor costs, scarcity of technical skills, new tariffs, and inflation. New technology that improves production and maintenance processes prepares manufacturers for the not-so-distant future where scaling horizontally is no longer sustainable and keeps their businesses competitive long-term.
At Forward Loop, we’re helping manufacturers prepare for their future by providing cost-effective, easy-to-use products that helps improve the maintenance of molds.