American Plastic Industry Going Strong
Plastic manufacturing in the United States has come a long way since the 1860s and only continues to grow, as shown by companies like minority-owned American business First American Plastic.
SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. — From the earliest days of plastics in the United States, back in the late 1800s when John Wesley Hyatt first experimented with cellulose nitrate, this substance and its many uses have only grown. Today, in fact, it’s hard to think of a part of life not impacted by it — and the uses and the need for plastics in America are only growing.
“The demand for plastics has increased steadily", says PlasticsIndustry.org. “Plastics are now accepted by designers and engineers as basic materials along with the more traditional materials. The automotive industry, for example, relies on plastics to reduce weight and thus increase energy efficiency.”
Of the two basic families of plastics, thermoplastics and thermosets, it is thermoplastics that are most commonly used to create useful industrial, commercial, and consumer products today. This is done through a high-production process called injection molding, first launched by American inventor James Watson Hendry in the late 1940s.
In injection molding, manufacturers inject materials into molds to set, gaining higher production rates, lowered labor costs and minimized waste. Today, many companies are moving their injection molding back to the United States to experience further advantages. Choosing domestic rather than international sourcing reduces freight costs and turnaround times, makes face-to-face meetings more possible, and provides easier access to inventory — which frees up cash, reduces lag-times between order-to-delivery and makes product adjustments simpler. Minority-owned American plastic manufacturer First American Plastic is one of the companies that has seen this move firsthand:
“It’s no secret to American companies that American plastic manufacturing offers advantages,” said Steve Erickson, a vice president at First American Plastic. “When clients move their plastic molding to the U.S., we’re able to help them cut costs and boost efficiency. That’s part of the reason why, over our decades of operation, we’ve seen significant growth as a business.”
Beyond on-shoring molding efforts, other evidences of growth in the plastics realm are trends like 3D printing. Already used to construct everything from hospital medical devices to NASA rocket parts to military equipment, 3D printing is the “hottest new technology on the IT landscape,” according to Network World.
About First American Plastic Molding Enterprise
First American Plastic Molding Enterprise is a custom provider of thermoplastic injection molding manufacturing solutions for companies throughout most industries. They operate two facilities in the United States. Its enterprise headquarters in South Beloit, Ill., is a 39,000 sq. ft. facility located 75 miles northwest of Chicago; its Ocean Springs, Miss., facility covers 22,000 sq. ft. and is located near Biloxi on the Mississippi Gulf coast.
First American Plastic