As we look to the future, the squeeze on finances in the UK will no doubt dampen the market. However, in the plastic enclosure arena with the continued exciting developments in the electronics and robotics arenas driving innovation and fueling demand for custom enclosures, we have an optimistic outlook for 2023
In the UK plastic enclosure manufacturing sector, for the most part, it is business as usual with the following trends helping to drive growth in 2023.
Key trends driving the plastic enclosures market:
New focus on Building Resilient Supply Chains
Supply chains are the lifeblood of many businesses these days and the disruptions to supply chains have been keenly felt and continue to cause severe stress, especially with the current rash of Covid lockdowns in China causing fresh pain.
We continue to see businesses looking to build more resilient supply chains by sourcing locally. This means UK enclosure manufacturers, like CDT, have seen growth, particularly in the electronics enclosure market. Proving especially popular is the bundled enclosure manufacturing and custom assembly which is all done under one roof in the UK. This ensures more control over the project and fewer potential delays. Additional plus points are only having one Bill of Materials and one point of contact to manage.
The proliferation of smart technology continues apace in the UK with the increasing adoption of smart wireless devices, sensors and industrial automation to enhance productivity in homes, hospitals, retail outlets, factories and motorways.
This trend is driving a corresponding increase in the demand for plastic enclosures to protect these smart devices. In the medical sciences sector, for example, smart technology now monitors, undertakes diagnostics and administers therapeutic procedures; a trend that looks likely to continue.
Shortening Product Life Cycles
As product life cycles continue to shorten and 3D printing develops, customer expectations have also risen, along with an expectation of rapid prototype turnaround times.
The flexibility and scope for changes in the production of machined plastic enclosures compared to metal or injection moulded enclosure alternatives means that the former can meet designers’ and developers’ higher expectations. They are increasingly selecting custom plastic enclosures over other types because with machined plastic enclosures there are no expensive, obsolete injection mould tools involved.
Sustainability and the Plastic Sector
The climate crisis has been part of global conversations for years, but we are now seeing commitments from governments and businesses to take steps to reduce their environmental impact.
Plastic enclosures have not yet come under the same scrutiny as single-use plastics. But we recognise the negative impacts of the production and disposal of plastic as a non-biodegradable material. Some manufacturers are stepping up to the challenge by not only using recycled plastics (including ocean waste plastics) but also by developing bioplastics i.e., plastic materials made from renewable biomass sources, such as vegetable fats and oils, flax, soybeans, corn, straw, woodchips, sawdust, recycled food waste, etc.
According to Coherent Market Insights, the global green packaging market will reach $238 billion (US) by 2025. We watch these developments with interest.
Increasing Plastic Prices in 2023
Alongside the continued economic fallout of the pandemic and now the energy crisis, comes the warning from our suppliers of price increases in 2023. This is a result of rising energy costs, supply tightness and continuing freight issues.
Here at CDT, our resilient team is looking forward to 2023 and a return to normal. But whatever 2023 brings we remain firmly focused on meeting our customers’ needs first and foremost. If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please do get in touch.