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The global injection molded plastics market size was USD 343.23 billion in 2020. The market is projected to grow from USD 357.34 billion in 2021 to USD 476.46 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 4.2% during the 2021-2028 period. The global impact of COVID-19 has been unprecedented and staggering, with the product witnessing a negative demand shock across all regions amid the pandemic. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a decline of 3.2% in 2020. The sudden rise in CAGR is attributable to this market’s demand and growth, returning to pre-pandemic levels once the pandemic is over.
Injection molding is the manufacturing process for the fabrication of plastics. Some of the major applications are automotive, packaging, building & construction, electrical & electronics, medical, and others. They are majorly used in the packaging industry for making containers, food packaging, bottles for cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, and different types of closures. Plastic is also an ideal material for electronics products as it can be conducive, as well as non-conductive plastic, UV resistance, rigid and flexible, and also available in various colors. Additionally, they also have considerable demand in applications such as LEDs and assemblies, inkjet printers, electric tools housing, computer boards and housing, switches, and many others.
Major players operating in the market are focusing on installing new production facilities to meet growing demand in the local and global markets. For instance, in 2020, HTI Plastics a new 60-Ton Sodick injection Molding press. With the addition of the Sodick press and another larger press coming online in the near future HTI Plastics now has 33 injection molding presses ranging in tonnage from 30 to 1,800 tons.
Decreasing Automotive Sales amid COVID-19 Pandmeic to Decline Market Growth
The injection-molded plastics market is expected to show mixed growth due to the rising demand from packaging and medical application, while their demand would decrease drastically for applications such as automotive, building & construction, electrical & electronics, and others. The automotive industry is expected to hit hard due to the already changing government regulations and then the sudden decrease in demand for automobiles in the pandemic situation. In addition, global production of automotive was severely impacted amid COVID-19. According to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, there was a collectively 16% drop in world auto production. The overall market is expected to experience a slight downfall in 2020 due to the interruption in the demand/supply of raw materials and is expected to recover in late 2021. The interruption in demand and supply is due to the announcement of lockdowns by various nations.
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Innovation in Injection Molding Technologies is a Prominent Trend
There has been continuous innovation in the technologies of injection molding, such as the growing inclination towards an integrated approach to product design which has emphasized manufacturability. This has further narrowed down the gap between the designing and manufacturing phase, mainly in the case of complex products, such as medical devices. This is better known as micro injection molding in the manufacturing of medical devices, where the practice is employed at a microscopic scale.
The manufacturing cost is a significant factor that decides the adoption rate of new technologies, but the usability of these technologies in complex applications outnumbers the cost factor. The emerging technologies such as IoT, automation and others are being integrated with the existing injection molding technology for the monitoring of operations. For example, BOY Machines, a provider of precision injection molding machines, released its Status App, which enables remote monitoring of injection processes 24 hours a day and seven days a week, using internet-connected devices.
Growing Demand from Packaging Applications to Drive Market Growth
Injection-molded plastics are extensively used in packaging applications, especially in food packaging, as they do not react with food and keep it safe. The most common application of these are caps, closures, containers, bottles, and many more. An injection-molded plastic container’s packaging is clear and leak-resistant and thus keeps food fresh for a long time. These plastics are also reusable, washable, and microwavable and thus have the highest demand amongst people.
Additionally, the latest innovations in injection-molded technologies are expected to have a positive impact on the injection molded plastics market growth, as the new packaging coming into the market is eco-friendly and 100% recyclable. Also, various government bodies are supporting recyclable packaging as it will reduce carbon footprint, and this is expected to drive the market.
Presence of alternative technologies & high cost of injection molding process to confine market growth
Some of the popular alternative techniques used for manufacturing plastic products include blow molding, polymer casting, extrusion and 3D printing. In blow molding, heated plastic tube is blown inside a mold until it forms into a desired shape. The process operates at far lower pressure than injection molding, leading to reduction in production costs. It is commonly used to produce hollow plastic products in bulk. Typical application of the process is observed in manufacture of bottles, toys, automotive components, packaging fragments and packaging solutions. One of the production process which is currently in trend is 3D printing of plastic parts. 3D printers create three-dimensional parts directly using digital models by laying layer over layer of plastic until a complete physical part is formed. As 3D printers require minimal tooling and setup time for a new design, the cost of producing a custom part is negligible in comparison with traditional production processes. With constant improvement in 3D printing technologies, the cost of production per part continues to fall, which opens a larger avenue to capture for low to mid-volume applications. Presence of these and many other production technologies is thus proving to be a hindrance to the growth of this market.
Polypropylene Segment to Generate Highest Revenue Owing to Its Wide Applications
The polypropylene segment holds the largest share in this market. Polypropylene is the most preferred resin for automotive, building, and construction industries as they are lightweight and shock-resistant, which are the essential properties in terms of safety. It is amongst the lowest density plastics and is safe for food containers as it does not leach chemicals into food products.
Polypropylene plastic injection molding is used to produce various parts and products of all shapes and sizes. Some of the significant reasons for polypropylene to be widely used in injection molding include moisture-resistance, high molding capability, availability in food grade, excellent food grade, chemical resistance, and low cost.
The acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) segment also holds a significant injection molded plastics market share, as it has high strength, good toughness, and easy moldability. ABS has substantial applications in automotive parts, packaging, consumer products, industrial parts, and others. It is majorly used for those materials as it has high impact resistance, toughness, and high resistance to scratch and provides excellent dimensional stability. The ABS segment is expected to rise in the near future due to its significant applications in the making of automotive parts.
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Packaging Segment to Exhibit Significant CAGR Backed by High Demand from Food & Beverages Industry
The packaging segment held the biggest share in this market. This segment is driven by food & beverages, pharmaceutical, and retail applications. The demand for plastic closures and caps is driven by the long-term shift in consumer packaging as people moved from glass and metal to plastic because of the excellent properties of plastic packaging.
Many injection molding companies work closely with the manufacturers of food & beverages, pharmaceuticals, and other manufacturers as these companies have to deal with government regulations and legal liabilities. The packaging segment is also driven by the demand from personal care & beauty, biomedical, and other industries.
The demand for injection molded plastics for electrical & electronics applications is increasing exponentially as these materials are widely used to manufacture electrical and electronic devices. Manufacturing various electronic devices, such as meters, sensors, and industrial test equipment, requires high accuracy. To meet this demand, components are made by the injection molding method, which provides high accuracy.
Injection-molded plastics have applications in the manufacturing of automotive parts. Exterior, interior, decorative interior, and various components such as resonators, fuel tank systems, and electrical covers are the primary examples of parts made from the injection molding method.
Asia Pacific Injection Molded Plastics Market Size, 2020 (USD Billion)
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Asia Pacific is projected to remain a key region in the market during the estimated forecast period due to the rising demand for injection molded plastics from the packaging and automotive industries. Asia Pacific’s market size was USD 162.98 billion in 2020. China is a major consumer due to the increasing population along with rapid urbanization and thus, will have a significant impact on the growth of the regional market. Moreover, the increasing economic growth in Asia Pacific and the consumer inclination towards efficient and smart buildings have urged manufacturers to develop high-performance products in the building and construction industry.
The region is expected to exhibit the highest growth in this market across the globe. China, India, and Japan are key countries that contribute to this market growth due to the demand for healthy food with proper packaging and the rising building and construction activities in these countries.
The demand for injection molded plastics in North America is expected to rise due to an exponential demand from the packaging and electronics industries in this region. For instance, advanced computer chips are still made in the U.S., which have applications in various areas such as medical devices, military equipment, communication technologies and others. There is also a presence of a large manufacturer base in this region, and thus, the market is expected to show healthy growth in the near future.
On the other hand, Europe is projected to hold a significant portion of this market. Increasing demand for convenient packaging for food and beverages has expanded the vision of packaging products manufacturers. Companies such as Berry Global and Mondi Group are investing a large number of resources in developing innovative packaging products, including bottles of novel shapes, easy-to-pour and sturdy caps and closures, and durable containers. These products are primarily manufactured using injection molding plastics, and thus its demand is expected to grow steadily across the European region during the forecast period. Additionally, the use of molded plastics for electronics goods is the other key factor driving the market growth in Europe.
The construction industry in Latin America is expanding on account of the increasing population and improving living conditions. Moreover, the demand for molded plastic furniture is gaining traction in the region owing to their cheaper cost as compared to metal and wooden alternatives, thus resulting in the slow yet steady growth of the market. However, the lack of manufacturing infrastructure in the region is a critical hindrance to the growth of the market. The resources spent on imports of these goods largely overpowers the cost of these products and thus results in slower growth of the market as compared to the global average.
In the Middle East & Africa, the demand for molded plastic products such as furniture, consumer goods and electronic components is swiftly growing, primarily due to them being cheaper and having physical properties similar to conventional metal products. Therefore, the market in MEA is expected to have golden days during the forecast period. With many companies shifting their focus towards the African countries for their business expansion, the manufacturing and construction industries in the region, the market for plastics and in turn injection-molded segment is projected to have exponential growth in the upcoming future.
Market Players to Strengthen their Positions by Offering Novel Solutions
Major producers present in Asia Pacific, lead to a fragmented injection molding market. The producers located in Europe and North America are aiming to fortify their market positions in various countries in Asia Pacific to drive the growth of their respective organizations. Key players in the market such as BASF SE, DuPont, HTI Plastics and others have developed strong regional occupancy, product offerings, and distribution channels.
An Infographic Representation of Injection Molded Plastics Market
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The market research report provides both qualitative & quantitative insights into the global injection molded plastics market. Quantitative insights include the global market sizing in terms of value (USD billion) & volume (million tons) across each segment, sub-segment, and region profiled in the scope of the study. Also, the report covers market share analysis and growth rates of segments, sub-segments, and key countries across each region. The qualitative insight covers an elaborative analysis of the market drivers, restraints, growth opportunities, and key trends related to the market. The competitive landscape section covers a detailed company profiling of the key players operating in the global market.
Value (USD Billion); Volume (Million Metric Tons)
By Resin, By Application, and By Geography
Fortune Business Insights market research study says that the global market stood at USD 343.23 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 476.46 billion by 2028.
The market will exhibit steady growth at a CAGR of 4.2% in the forecast period.
The polypropylene segment is expected to be the leading resin in the market during the forecast period.
The increasing demand by food & pharmaceutical packaging is driving the market growth.
Asia Pacific is expected to hold the highest share in the market.
Medical & Packaging applications would drive the adoption of injection molded plastics products.
The innovation in injection molded technologies is the key trend in the market.
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