Molding is a process of shaping liquid or pliable raw material into a desired shape, typically by using a rigid frame or mold. The process uses a variety of material, including: thermoplastics, thermosets, rubber, ceramics, concrete, and various metals.
Four molding technologies were the focus of this study:
- Injection molding of thermoplastics
- Blow molding of thermoplastics
- Molding of thermoset materials
- Molding of rubber
Polymer manufacturers do not easily incorporate new technologies or innovations. Changes come either through customer requests or from vendors. Materials technology are primarily developed and controlled by large chemical companies.
Other technology roadmaps published in the United States have indicated the following:
- Workforce training and development is an important issue for the molders.
- R&D and innovation are viewed as critical for the long-term success of the manufacturers.
- Strengthening manufacturing networks, creating partnerships between manufacturers and universities, and providing them with support are also considered crucial.
Some states are using incentives, subsidies, and tax credits to strengthen manufacturing and create a “pro-business” environment.