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2 min read

Why Choose a Career in Plastics Manufacturing?

By Dave Biering on January 23, 2018

Why Choose a Career in Plastics Manufacturing?

Are you a problem solver? I read this interesting article in Design World, which describes manufacturing as one of the best career choices for problem solvers. Given my plastics manufacturing and engineering background, this topic sparked my interest. Here’s why I chose this career, and some of the steps needed to grow the industry...

Generations ago, manufacturing was considered a repetitive job requiring limited skills and offering limited opportunity. This perception could not be further from the truth today. Modern manufacturing plants now incorporate robotic automation, 3-D printing, AI and other leading technologies. The field requires highly-skilled workers; employees that are becoming harder to find as baby boomers retire. In fact, as we dive into 2018 and beyond, Deloitte cites that nearly two million manufacturing jobs are expected to go unfulfilled in the next decade – that’s a significant number!

What can we do to develop the next generation of plastic manufacturers?

  • Start earlyCompanies that invest in developing the next generation of engineers and designers will reap the benefits. Events like National Robotics Week, which emphasize STEM education and competitions are sparking a love of building and engineering in millennial students.
  • Changing perceptionPlastics manufacturing – and manufacturing in general– is not your father’s manufacturing. Today, 3D design, CAD, AI, robotics are all common on the manufacturing floor. Manufacturing is no longer a staid environment.
  • Opportunity knocksManufacturing may be a non-traditional career, but there’s no doubting there’s opportunity for future growth and a stable career. In fact, 6 out of 10 open positions are a result of a talent shortage, as seen in the graphic below.
  • Consider the benefitsManufacturing is one of the best industries for employee-sponsored healthcare benefits, cites the Kaiser Foundation. And 80% of manufactures are willing to pay above-market rates for their employees, as noted.

These are just a few steps that I believe will keep us headed in the right direction. And having just returned from a tour of our partners in China, it’s evident that a shortage of workers is not exclusive to the US. Manufacturers there are experiencing a similar challenge.

If you are interested in an exciting career in plastics manufacturing, we just might have the job for you here at TriStar Plastics!  What are your thoughts on the future of plastics manufacturing? Share below!

us-pip-skills-gap-infographic.jpg(Source: Deloitte)

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Topics: Plastic Manufacturing
2 min read

Plastic Manufacturing and 3D Printing: An Overview

By Dave Biering on May 16, 2017

Plastic Manufacturing and 3D Printing: An Overview

Have you been following the evolution of 3D/additive printing? It’s changing the traditional model of plastic manufacturing. Once used as a simple way to produce small plastic parts, the technology is projected to become a $7 billion industry by 2020. Given such extraordinary advancement, let’s review the impact.

It’s amazing to witness how quickly 3D/additive processing is evolving plastic manufacturing. While the basic technology began in the 1980s, today’s software and printers have enabled more-sophisticated and less-costly manufacturing design.

3D/additive processing begins with a CAD drawing of an object that is designed via modeling software. The design is then “sliced” into hundreds of layers that are then read and fed into a 3D printer. The objects are then built layer after layer until complete. Printers can range from models for home hobbyists, to sophisticated industrial printers suitable for massive manufacturing.

Although the pace of advancement is still debated, more mass-manufactured products are on the horizon. Aerospace manufacturers are embracing 3D to build lightweight carbon fiber components that will reduce the weight of aircraft and increase efficiency. The US military is adopting the technology to build replacement equipment components right on the battlefield. Medical prosthetics are commonly 3D printed today. And in the future, consumers may even have 3D scanners integrated into their smartphones.

But it’s those manufacturers who embrace the technology that are poised to win. The advantages are real:

  • Cost-effective production - 3D printing can eliminate expensive production lines and prototyping to create even complex assemblies cost-effectively.
  • Less manufacturing waste - Precision design eliminates traditional trial-and-error manufacturing models to reduce expensive scrap. 
  • Faster release to market - Sophisticated software and modeling means there’s less time required for manufacturing ramp-up, or change of tooling devices to fabricate complex components.
  • Greater innovation - Given lower production costs, there’s a greater reward to manufacturers to innovate new products.

From clothing and toys to tiny houses and even human body parts, the potential of 3D printing is unlimited. Astute manufacturers who embrace the technology will reap the benefits. Learn more about plastic manufacturing.

What are your predictions for this form of plastic manufacturing? Share your thoughts below!

Custom Plastic Fabrication: Get the Guide!

Topics: Plastic Manufacturing