Latest plastic parts boast enhanced performance

An Expert's View about Sourcing in China

Last updated: 27 Jun 2012

Makers are developing toward small designs with added features and enhanced aesthetics.
China suppliers of plastic parts are rolling out upgraded products to cater to various requirements in electronics and automotive applications, highlighting compact yet visually appealing designs. They are directing R&D toward increased impact resistance, dimensional stability, surface hardness, dielectric strength and anti-solubility. Flame-retardant models are likewise emphasized. Development work for releases targeted at vehicles underscores longer life span and use of better raw materials.

Zhongshan Corwell Metals Plastic Electric Co. Ltd, for instance, has introduced plastic parts with good electrical insulation and high transmittance, chemical stability and resistance to corrosion, flame, water and heat.

Shenzhen Keshihua Electronic Technology Co. Ltd is exploring new designs for its LED and PC board spacers. Models comply with international environmental standards and are employed in household appliances, consumer and automotive electronics, and medical and communication equipment. The supplier also customizes plastic parts.

Makers are likewise pursuing "green" trends by adopting environment-friendly adhesive. Some are working with low-flavor and -volatility inputs. To improve efficiency, manufacturers are employing advanced equipment. Zhuhai Weichuang Technology Co. Ltd, for example, has its own plastic injection and molding workshop with imported machines for designing, mold manufacturing and injection molding. It complies with DME, Hasco, Misumi and other international standards.

Zhongshan Corwell uses cost-effective advanced precision equipment and measuring tools, aiming for vertical production covering designing, selection of raw materials, plastic mold design and making, and injection molding. The maker's releases suit electronics and communication devices, auto parts and household appliances.

To meet clients' specifications, manufacturers can select raw materials depending on buyers' requirements. In general, however, releases comply with UL, RoHS and SGS.

The development of engineering plastic technologies in China and increasing demand from domestic and international buyers are pushing makers to raise output. The key growth areas are the electronics and automotive industries, which respectively account 70for about 30 and 10 percent of the country's total output in the line. In the first category, the flat-panel TV, computer and mobile phone sectors are the main catalysts.

The country exported 365,000 metric tons of plastic products amounting to $980 trillion in February alone, according to Customs General Administration. Projections from the China Statistics Bureau place total yield at 50 million metric tons by 2015.

There are about 16,300 suppliers of plastic parts in China. Half of the companies are located inGuangdong province. The other main hubs are Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, which play host to 19 and 13 percent of makers.

Nylon 66 prevails

Releases from China come in PP, ABS, SMC, PC, PMMA, SAN, PE, HIPS or nylon 66, with the last the most widely adopted input.

Nylon 66 boasts good electrical and chemical properties. It has a working temperature range of -30 to 100 C, maximum at 150 C, rendering it suitable for industrial applications. Besides being flame-retardant, the material can resist oil, benzene, acetone, wine and triclosan.

Companies such as Zhuhai Weichuang, however, use ABS for its creep and wear resistance. Adjusting the ratio of the plastic type's AN, BD and ST components enhances its other attributes. The maker also employs PC, PP, PMMA, SAN, HIPS and nylon. Among its releases, electronic plastic parts for air-conditioner cases, cooling fans, and digital and communication devices are mainstream.

Suppliers anticipate steady demand upturn for PC and ABS variants as the two widen their adoption in the electronics market in the years ahead. Orders for variants in the first are forecast to increase by 6 percent annually to reach 4.4 million metric tons in 2015, while those for the latter will climb by 5 percent YoY worldwide. The PP and PVC categories are expected to maintain an annual growth rate of 8 and 4 percent, respectively. PO and PE will likewise be used in more products.

As raw material spending continues to soar, companies are taking steps to offset the rising cost of inputs. Most of them are planning to increase prices by 5 percent, while others are looking at a 6 to 10 percent upward adjustment. Some, including Shenzhen Keshihua, are aiming to focus on high-end units to boost margins.

Most enterprises source materials locally. Those that utilize imported inputs purchase them from agents or distributors of international enterprises.

In terms of finished parts, PC board and LED spacer types are gaining traction. The former is used to isolate and fix the PC board panel, prevent short circuits, improve stability, and ensure easy assembly and disassembly. Releases are resistant to wear, impact, acid and alkali.

Hong Kong: Plastic part makers underscore service enhancements

Hong Kong suppliers of plastic parts cater to diverse clients. Several concentrate on injection parts for home appliances, automotives and consumer electronics, while others emphasize packaging and utensils. Many offer design and manufacturing services not only for plastic parts but also for metal and combination rubber, plastic and metal variants.

A good number provide logistical support as well under one-stop-solution OEM schemes. Some are even certified by prominent customers with very strict quality requirements.

Makers said finding a niche and keeping step with technological breakthroughs are crucial in remaining buoyant amid stiff competition from mainland China, Taiwan and other Southeast Asia suppliers. Companies highlight plastic's light weight, malleability and multifunctionality in boosting the segment.

The line is pursued by more than 50 suppliers, including trading firms. Although most have factories in the mainland, the majority of players have an extensive manufacturing experience. In addition, Hong Kong has a number of organizations that help promote and support the sector, including the Plastic Machinery Association, Plastics Industry Council and Plastics Manufacturers Association Ltd.

Established in 1976, Fidelity Metal Industrial Co. Ltd provides tooling and plastic components for consumer electronics, PCs, imaging equipment, timepieces and medical applications. It owns 21 plastic injection machines for churning out versions from more than 15 categories of engineering plastic resins. It also has in-house CNC, wire cutting, milling, EDM and stamping equipment.

Art Precision Technology Development Ltd carries out stamping metal, plastic injection and precision machining parts in-house to ensure total control over manufacturing schedule. Its factory has 72 plastic injection machines, five laser cutters and 270 presses.

A subsidiary of Pioneer-tech, EnEcomponents.com provides a platform for input purchasing. It categorizes thousands of plastic parts and various other electronic components together with product information, individualized order services and logistical backup. The supplier also delivers merchandizing solutions for a range of devices with the help of several partner factories.

Read the full report on plastic parts at our import export business. Globalsources is a leading B2B marketplace and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines and trade shows. 


Posted: 21 September 2011, last updated 27 June 2012

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