The importance of supply management for plastic machining parts.

Jul 29, 2021 | Business, CNC Phenolic Machining, Composite Machining, G10 Machining, Machining, News, Plastics Machining

2020-21 Saw Shortages and Adverse Markets Effects

Today we hear of all kinds of shortages from lumber and other building products, to gasoline, to even new cars and pet food. There’s a shortage of truck drivers, and there’s a shortage in the overall labor pool as well, that is causing many companies tremendous strain and difficulty in being able to create new product and also get their product where it needs to go. The last thing many companies need when they are having trouble in meeting their customers’ needs and demands is the added problem of raw material shortages and supplier failures. Yet, that problem has become more and more difficult to avoid by companies throughout the world.

It seems that the longer we’ve had to endure this pandemic and current world shortages situation, the more types of shortages we’ve encountered. And while some of these shortages have been caused by major transportation problems, others have come about because of a lack of products available for producers to use to make their products.

Planning is a Continual Process

It’s always important for any plastic machining project to line up all the necessary resources ahead of time for the project, whether that’s G10, Linen Phenolics, Phenolic Paper, or other plastics used in precision parts manufacturing. The popularity of these incredible and versatile materials makes them always high in demand, for engineering great parts and creating long-lasting solutions for their intended uses. Providing sufficient supplies ahead of time will ensure that your plastic machining parts, which are the major focus within any and all plastic manufacturing projects, not only fit your project goals, but also meet the specifications and needs of the intended customers. Otherwise, you could end up with a shortage almost as serious as what has been caused by all of the transportation difficulties over the past few years. There’s nothing worse than not having enough for a project’s start-up phase to get started on.

In December of 2020 we experienced a dramatic increase in prices for G10 FR4 sheet material, as factory shipment prices increased by as much as 15% to 20%. There were periods when getting material on time was also difficult due to shipment and transportation. With trade being affected from China, one of the leading suppliers and manufacturers of phenolics for industries like technology and automotive manufacturers, more stress was placed on US manufacturing, and inevitably even buying from US suppliers became increasingly difficult. We were able to help customers minimize the impact of this by carefully planning ahead with them and managing our own supply chain to keep materials on hand, for various ongoing customer projects, as well as by consulting with our customers directly on projects to reduce the waste per sheet, and also make sure their specifications and requirements were making the most economical use of materials, or even using the right materials in the first place. Overseas suppliers became more and more difficult to rely upon for many other plastic machining companies, and we focused our efforts on U.S. made resources, to help our customers keep their projects rolling, and deliver the parts they needed on time.

The Future and Beyond

This has started easing up over the past 6 months, and we are experiencing less difficulty in obtaining material for customer projects, and also fewer complications with transportation. It’s not all perfect and good yet though, and we still expect some difficulty in 2022 for obtaining raw materials for some projects.

If you’re concerned about getting your plastic parts on time and done right, contact us now to discuss your plans and send us your drawings for a free quote. We’re happy to help with the logistics and can expertly craft the plastic machined parts you need, with the proper planning and an eye for detail that is unmatched. Contact us now.

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