Small batch plastic manufacturing refers to production processes where multiple units of a single part or product are produced simultaneously. This method of manufacture has become common practice within some industries ranging from food processing to pharmaceuticals, electronics, automotive, and aerospace.
Quick production capability in the plastics manufacturing industry
Manufacturing is a critical component of our global economy. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the United States is the largest manufacturer of goods in the world. In 2015, the U.S. spent $2 trillion on manufacturing goods and services, generating 19% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The U.S. also ranks first in total exports, with $1.3 trillion in sales in 2015, accounting for 12.4% of its total GDP.
The plastic industry has been growing over the past decade, and this trend shows no sign of slowing down soon. According to the Plastics News Industry Report, it continues to grow at a rate that has not been seen since the early 2000s. There are many reasons behind this growth, but one is the increasing demand for custom products. Industries have started to look beyond their traditional manufacturing methods to create smaller batches of custom plastics.
Small batch manufacturing offers several benefits over large-scale manufacturing, such as lower costs and faster delivery times. While the concept behind small-batch manufacturing sounds simple, the logistics can be complex.
For example, a facility producing thousands of parts daily requires significant space and resources. By comparison, small-batch manufacturers often achieve economies of scale through vertical integration. They can operate out of smaller facilities, which allows them to better manage their inventories, optimize the quality of their products, and reduce overhead expenses.
What is small-batch manufacturing, and how to benefit from it?
Small batch manufacturing (SBM) is a method of producing high-quality custom products at low volumes. The term SBM was coined in the 1950s, but today it has become a common practice in various industries. It enables manufacturers to produce a wide variety of goods using fewer resources than mass production methods. This allows them to offer their customers unique and bespoke products at lower costs.
SBM benefits healthcare, food and beverage, luxury goods, fashion, home furnishings, interior design, automotive, construction, aerospace, electronics, and industrial machinery. Even if your company isn’t on this list, it doesn’t mean there is no potential way of implementing such a method of short production runs.
The benefits of small-batch manufacturing come from the idea of turning quality-driven goals into your North Star. It solves many circumstances in which production costs increase, be it due to human error or things no one can control, such as weather conditions and the geopolitical climate.