The plastics industry as a whole is the number four in terms of size of all industries in the world. Different plastics, used for different purposes, have differing chemical compositions, but in general it is safe to say that most plastics are derived from petrochemicals, although some are partly composed of natural materials. The modern world as we know it would not exist without plastics … it seems as if everything is made at least in part from one type or another of plastic, from clothing to cars. There are even plastics created for the sole purpose of conducting electricity. Plastic parts are essential to many industries including transportation, packaging, electronics, aerospace and construction, to name a few. Plastic is shaped into its intended use through one of a number of different factory process such as injection molding, or extrusion. Items such as fencing, window frames, pipes, etc. are made with plastic that’s first melted and then molded into continuous shapes that are later cut. Injection molding forces liquid plastic into a die, or mold, where it cools, hardens, and assumes the shape of the cavity. The molds are usually made of a metal, such as steel, however, today there are some molds in operation that are made from photopolymer plastics that do not melt, allowing plastics themselves to define the shape of other plastic parts.
The plastics industry uses organic polymers of high molecular mass. It is a vast industry. Working in plastics manufacturing is a skilled trade, one in which there is great need for workers. It is important that laborers be experienced in all aspects of the particular type of plastics production in which they’re involved. Plant profit and loss, worker safety and product quality are all issues that depend upon a competent, knowledgeable and efficient labor force. The best way for employees to gain basic knowledge in plastics production as well as to keep abreast of innovations and change in the field is to take advantage of plastics seminars that are taught around the country for the very purpose of producing a highly trained body of competent and accredited plastics labor.