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Home / Blog / Polymers : Insights and Takeaways from 2014 Roadmapping Study

polymer_roadmapping_blog_imgPolymerOhio recently completed a “roadmap” for the polymer molding industry in Ohio.  The following is a snapshot of the study approach and results plus a few key takeaways we hope will provide you with some valuable insight.

Approach

This roadmap was developed using a multi-phase approach as follows. Between each phase, “strawman” lists of challenges and opportunities were developed to capture and communicate with the various audiences.

  • Secondary research and interviews of industry leaders – a review of articles and discussions with various industry leaders on an international basis to gather input on current topics and issues in molding
  • Interviews of molders – discussions, led by an industry expert, with a random selection of molders via both focus groups and phone interviews to gather input as to technology issues, challenges and opportunities in molding
  • Interviews of supply chain and technology sources – interviews by an industry expert with material and equipment suppliers to the molding industry and academic and research organizations involved in supporting the industry
  • Survey – a broader web-based survey of molders to confirm and prioritize the challenges and opportunities in molding

 

Results

The technology challenges and opportunities for molders can be divided into four main categories:

  1. Efficiency
  2. Workforce
  3. Speed
  4. Niche or Specialized Technologies

 

A Few Highlights

  1. One of the most important issues facing the industry is available of a qualified workforce. Clearly there is a need for training programs to support the needs of the industry for a qualified workforce.  The number of plastic molding companies in the Ohio polymer cluster is sufficient to warrant development and expansion of specialized training programs at several educational institutions.
  2. Another issue is the ability to quickly respond to customer change orders and new product development cycle time. The economy has strengthened leading to increased capacity utilization and customers’ demands on delivery has stressed many companies.  There is a need for – lean operations/Quick change over/improved production scheduling / simulation software – We Can help in all these areas.
  3. For assistance in addressing technical issues, most polymer molders rely on their materials supplier, equipment supplier, and friends and associates.  Engaging with PolymerOhio to build and strengthen your network will be a good thing!  Tap into the local Polymer Cluster.

 

PolymerOhio is a membership organization dedicated to connecting you with the funding, expertise and resources you need to support and grow your business.  For more information on the road mapping study, please contact us.

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