For many traditional areas of industries, the production and use of metal was one of the most critical sectors. Factories and other areas of heavy industry needed that metal, and needed it well-made, to function properly. This has all changed with the advent of plastics in the middling section of last century. Processes such as rotational molding and other, quicker methods of plastic production have caused the demand for to skyrocket in all area of the economy, from food production jobs to software developers. In fact, some of the areas where the demand for plastic has risen are pretty surprising. Here are some of the more eclectic and investment-heavy areas in the economy that are making heavy use of plastics.
Home and business security are in desperate need of plastics to build faster, better alarms. After all, businesses without alarms are far more likely to suffer attack. Some estimates put the risk at 4.5 times higher than buildings with alarms. That’s why the demand for plastics has been so high in the industry. There’s really no way to get around needing an alarm. It’s a professional and structural necessity. Electronic security services are growing at almost 4.3% annually, thus the ever growing demand for more. Older, more traditional alarms are more liable to break or be broken in the case of an emergency. Plastic alarms often respond faster. Some are even connected electronically to the police or the phone system to connect them to the police. This makes for a markedly improved response time and cuts down on the potential damage done by crimes. A small change like switching to plastics has made a big difference in the industry and it’s sure to continue into the future. At first glance it might seem trivial but the cumulative effect over time is massive.
The pharmacy industry has also exploded in the popular consciousness, perhaps more noticeably. The packaging and distributing of medications has benefited greatly from the processes of rotational molding and blow molding. In fact, the drug-packaging industry is going global and is estimated at $66 billion dollars. With more and more demand being put on the pharma industry to deliver large quantities of proscribed medication, they’ve needed an enormous amount of plastic to create the required bottles. This goes for over the counter medication as well as more specialized containers required by hospitals. This demand has also dovetailed with a couple other related issues, namely the aging global population. A graying industrial world means more health issues and more health issues, according to the modern standard of medicine, means more medication. More medication, of course, means a huge quantity of plastic for packaging and, to some extent, further innovation to produce plastics faster.
While the traditional view of the robotics industry is based around circuitry and metal, in recent years the benefits of plastics have been growing in the industry. Plastics are flexible and make for easier joint movements. For robotic factory use, this flexibility can lead to an increase and diversity in production. Plastics are also a lot more versatile than classical metals and corrode at a much slower pace, eliminating completely the risk of dangerous accident or malfunction by rust. 14,232 robots of high collective value were created in the first months of 2015 alone and the number only continues to grow. Robots constructed of plastic or metal and plastic are replacing slower human workers, scary at first but actually good for all parties. The businesses expand and the employees are exposed to less potentially dangerous environments. Robots can even help in the use of rotational molding and plastic processing leading to a sort of industrial tautology. The more blow molding and rotational molding they do, the faster the production of their own parts grows. Plastics are closing their own production loops and making their businesses profit in the process. Everyone benefits when this happens.