Keep a close eye on your North American injection molder. At least one in four are in credit jeopardy. Average utilization rates are a mere 41 percent. Molders are getting clobbered by high resin prices, weak demand and customer demands to reduce prices an average of 3 percent per year. “I’m thinking we could lose 1,000 to 1,500 in the next five years,” said Jeff Mengel, partner, Plante & Moran at Molding 2008 today. There are some 6,000 molders in North America today, down from 7,000 seven years ago.
Most of the new 3D printers and 3D printing technologies in this crop are breaking some boundaries, whether it's build volume-per-dollar ratios, multimaterials printing techniques, or new materials types.
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