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Ohio’s Polymer Industry: Structure, Strength and Success

Polymer word cloudOhio is known as the center of polymer manufacturing in the United States, and with good reason. Home to the most significant polymer cluster in America, Ohio’s polymer industry includes companies in the fields of plastics, rubbers/elastomers, paints, coatings, adhesives and advanced materials.

The old saying “there is strength in numbers” certainly applies with nearly 2,500 industry participants in Ohio. In addition, access to and support from a world-class supply chain that includes academic institutions, designers and materials suppliers, mold builders, resin suppliers and compounders, plastic and polymer processors, industry associations and economic development organizations make Ohio a polymer powerhouse!

Polymers: A Diverse Industry

For many, the term polymers = plastics. However, as you can see from the image below, this industry encompasses so much more.

*the numbers in the boxes represent the number of companies in each sector in Ohio

*the numbers in the boxes represent the number of companies in each sector in Ohio

Strength by the Numbers

Here are just a few key statistics that show why Ohio is recognized as a polymer industry leader:

  • Ohio is the number one producer of both plastic and rubber products, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • 76 out of 88 Ohio counties are home to at least one polymer company.
  • 7 Fortune Global-500 companies are headquartered in Ohio, including: A. Schulman, Cooper Tire & Rubber, Owens Corning, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Eaton Corporation, Parker-Hannifin and PolyOne.
  • 8 Ohio colleges and universities have cutting-edge polymer programs.

Location, Location, Location

ohios-comprehensive-supply-chainJust as in real estate, location is everything. Close proximity to suppliers and buyers, a shared labor pool, and access to technologies that enhance innovation provides a significant advantage for cluster participants. By working together, companies can speed up the movement of ideas and information throughout the cluster and improve its overall economic health. For more information on Ohio’s Polymer Cluster and how you can leverage the competitive advantages it provides, check out these resources:

The Shale Advantage

The recent announcement from Shell to build a petrochemical complex in the Appalachia region completes a key segment of the supply chain—supplying resin will strengthen the cluster. Now, Ohio’s polymer industry can go from feedstock to consumer—all within a few hundred miles. Check out all the exciting details in this announcement.

Technology Driving Growth

Ohio’s polymer industry is rapidly evolving to meet today’s changing consumer demands. Technology is dramatically impacting the way polymers are produced. New materials and methods, such as carbon fiber composites, additive manufacturing and bioplastics are leading to faster, lighter, and more environmentally friendly products.

With the increased availability of sophisticated simulation and modeling programs, material advancements in additive manufacturing, and the wide use of robotics to increase productivity, the polymer industry is capitalizing on the “Digital Revolution”. To learn more about the impact of digital manufacturing on the polymer industry, check out The Future is Now: Digital Manufacturing and the Polymer Industry.

PolymerOhio – Ohio’s Polymer Industry Resource

Are you part of Ohio’s polymer industry? Looking for ways to maximize your growth and profitability? PolymerOhio can help! We are dedicated to connecting you with the latest market trends, technological developments, expertise and resources you need to support and grow your business. We serve as a network hub for a broad range of polymer industry participants – including your business. To find out more, call us at 614-776-5720 or fill out a short contact form today.

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