It's fascinating to visit plastics manufacturers' shop floors and see the history of their business told in the machinery used to launch their businesses running alongside the latest machinery installed to help them grow. So many of these businesses got their start as suppliers to Tier 1 original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or by taking on short-notice, custom production runs competitors couldn't.
At first, rejuvenating machinery that's made solid contributions for years was a necessity. Now it's becoming a strategic pathway to greater shop floor productivity and meeting ambitious new supplier goals for compliance, cycle times and quality. Notably, a Decision Analyst survey of 150 North American manufacturers completed in conjunction with IQMS/Dassault Systems found that 73 percent of the plastics manufacturers have fully depreciated machinery operating on their shop floors today. And 41 percent of plastics processors surveyed are opting to upgrade existing machinery and prolong their useful lives.