Industry Growth Apparent in New Equipment, New Hires

As an editor for three different magazines related to the plastics processing industry, I receive a lot of press releases from companies wishing to share news. On an average day, I would guess 40-60 emails hit my inbox, announcing everything from new websites to facility expansions. The most common, however, and the ones that give me a strong sense of where the industry is headed, are equipment installations and hiring announcements.

Over the last year, all-electric injection molding machines have dominated the installation announcements, but I’ve also seen several companies branching out into 3D printing. At this point, those companies are planning to use the equipment for prototyping purposes, but some are beginning to focus on small-scale production opportunities, too. Some processors are bringing additional tool building capabilities in-house, but that has been rare (or not reported via press releases). More common has been expansion into secondary services, such as ultrasonic or laser welding, digital inkjet decorating and laser marking.

Also common has been an uptick in hiring of sales staff. I have not seen a corresponding increase in the number of customer service/account management positions, so my guess is that processing companies actively are seeking to expand capacity, but haven’t yet seen a return that has pushed account management beyond its current capabilities.

Now, this isn’t a scientific assessment of the industry by any means, but I find it interesting nonetheless.

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Dianna Brodine

Managing Editor at Plastics Business Magazine
Dianna Brodine is the managing editor of Plastics Business magazine – the official publication of the Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors. She can be reached at 785.271.5801.

One thought on “Industry Growth Apparent in New Equipment, New Hires”

  1. Dianna,

    You have an unique perspective on the plastics industry and I would agree with your assessment. We are in the automotive market and have been expanding to meet increasing demand for several years. We expanded our sales staff several years ago and are now seeing our sales grow above industry average. This is causing us to plan for staff, plant and machine expansions in the next couple of years.

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