As we look to a new year, with a new president, it’s an excellent time to take stock of the U.S. manufacturing industry and where it’s headed. With a recent report from The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) showing the manufacturing index at the highest level since 2014, chances are it’s going to be a good year.
On-Shoring—Manufacturers are rethinking offshore production strategies.
Supply Chain Transparency—Systems are evolving to provide more transparency to consumers about the supply chain process.
Custom Manufacturing—Advances in printing technologies offer new opportunities for short production runs.
Mergers and acquisitions—Large plastics companies can create growth and expand offerings by acquiring smaller independent shops.
Advances in 3D Design—With new technology like Adobe’s Felix Program, the 3D design process will become easier for product designers.
Solar Production—Photovoltaic coating technology is expanding in the consumer market.
One category we find particularly interesting is the projected increase in custom manufacturing. While the article suggests that advances in printing technologies will offer opportunities for an increase in short production runs, we also believe that custom injection molding manufacturers will play a role in this trend. Contract manufacturers offer flexible options and experienced guidance for prototyping and low-volume productions that may be more affordable than 3D printing. Also, compared to 3D printing injection molders offer a wider selection of materials options.
In Part 1, we discussed mold flow analysis (MFA) and the ways Ferriot uses it to improve the tool design process and, ultimately, the quality of the final custom injection molding we perform for our customers. In this ...