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Automotive Product Finder Magazine | Moulded products injecting growth into automobiles
Moulded products injecting growth into automobiles
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Plastic parts made via the injection moulding process compose a significant portion of a vehicle’s design. With electric vehicles (EV) gaining traction, there is an increased focus on developing new products using lightweight materials, which in turn will drive the demand for moulded parts.
Rising demand for high level of comfort and customisation is driving the global automotive interior materials market, which is forecast to reach $ 79.79 Billion by 2026, according to a new report by Reports and Data. Automakers are looking at replacing metals with the plastics for manufacturing of the interior products nowadays. “Safe/luxury and lightweight materials, along with premium interiors, provide one of the biggest opportunities. This means suppliers have to come up with solutions that not only help OEMs meet continually tightening regulation requirements, but also satisfy the widening range of the consumer’s personal tastes. Focus on enhancing the drivers experience with personalised interiors,” says P C Jayan, Director, Engineering, International Automotive Components (IAC).
Sheet metal components (SMC) and plastic moulded components (PMC) are the two key products in the residual auto components segment. SMC and PMC are not very technology-intensive and thus dominated by the unorganised segment. The plastics, accounting for the highest market share of 27.9 per cent in 2018, is the most used interior material in a vehicle because of its optimum durability and ruggedness. Plastic is very light in weight, which helps in reducing the overall fuel consumption of a vehicle.
Sitangshu Nandy, Business Development and Program Management, IAC International Automotive India Pvt Ltd, informs, “The constant demand for fuel efficient vehicles, mainly to reduce weight, which reduces running costs and fuel consumption, has resulted in the penetration of plastic moulded composites into the Automotive sector due to their lightness and stiffness.”
Injection moulding, one of the most commonly used production processes for plastics, offers a viable solution for mass-producing high quality and consistent parts from a broad range of polymers. In the automotive industry, where consistency, safety, and quality are all of the utmost importance, injection moulding has become a staple. According to Global Market Insights Inc, a 10 per cent reduction in car weight will lead to saving around 5-7 percent of fuel. The need to produce lightweight automobiles is likely to drive the demand for injection moulded plastics.
Injection moulding: The growth driver
According to Allied Market Research (AMR), global injection moulded plastics market is estimated to reach $162.1 billion by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 4.9 per cent during 2015-2020. Injection mouding is a manufacturing process for producing plastic products by injecting molten material into a mould where it is melted, cooled and subsequently solidified as the final part or product. Both thermoplastic and thermosetting injection moulded plastics are used for manufacturing of various parts and components across industries. The major thermoplastic polymers used in injection moulding are polypropylene, low-density polyethylene, high-density polyethylene, polycarbonate, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane, polysulfone etc. Epoxy resin, polyester and melamine formaldehyde are some of the thermosetting polymers used for injection moulding purpose.
With electric vehicles (EV) gaining traction, there is an increased focus on developing new products using lightweight materials, which in turn will drive the demand for moulded parts. “The increased demand for electric and hybrid vehicles in which composites’ usage for light-weighting is of essence, has turned automakers’ focus to light-weight composite materials as a substitute for heavier steel and iron in all types of vehicles,” says Sitangshu Nandy.
Plastic parts made via the injection moulding process compose a significant portion of a vehicle’s design. The plastic moulding industry will continue to revolutionise the production of automobiles by helping industry achieve goals of safety, cost & weight reduction and faster production rates. Sudhir Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, Pinnacle Industries Ltd, says, “The demand is increasing for injection moulding. Again, with government’s impetus on shared mobility, electric vehicles, and the shift in demand towards customised interiors, demand for injection moulding will continue to increase. Other factors responsible for rise in demand for injection moulding are low energy consumption, low maintenance cost, short production cycle time, and high accuracy.”
Injection Moulding Process
P C Jayan
International Automotive Components
Sheet Metal Components
Plastic Moulded Components
IAC International Automotive India
Global Market Insights Inc
Allied Market Research
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