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Plastic Injection Molding Market Blows Up in Response to Aging Society

11 May 2023

• The number of elderly populations around the world is on the rise. This is an opportunity for industrialists in the plastic injection molding for medical devices to optimize this advantage and maximize their business.  

• Chronic diseases and epidemics will be strong factors that drive the growth of the plastic injection molding for medical devices.

• Manufacturers must enhance their competitiveness through modern technologies and production techniques in response to both individual needs and high-volume applications. Their products should also be easy to use, durable, environmentally friendly and safe.

Medical device manufacturing industry is one of the most important drivers of the global economy because the world's population is aging rapidly. Many countries are advancing toward "aging society" which needs medical care and assistance as well as health and public health equipment at an unprecedented level. Meanwhile, both chronic diseases and epidemics are threatening the current resource- and budget-strained healthcare systems, thus increasing the demand for the "medical device manufacturing" techniques that are truly innovative and reliable, of which plastic injection molding is the answer.

The United Nations reports that the curve of aging population worldwide is climbing up, from 761 million people aged 65 and over in 2021 to 1.6 billion in 2050, and the number of people aged 80 and older is also increasing rapidly. It illustrates the population structure that is full of aging population with longer life expectancy. The prevalence of chronic diseases that require lifelong care and emerging new epidemics are also factors that will contribute to the growth of this market as well.

When monitor this market closely, it is evident that plastic injection molding for medical devices has made remarkable progress over the past few decades, as can be seen from smaller devices that are portable, implantable, and/or wearable. These new generations of devices reduce material waste, are more environmentally friendly, can be customized to individual patient's specific conditions. Particularly, the mass production of customizable devices helps cut down cost as well as offer precision and consistent performance.

Currently, medical devices made from injection molded plastics are used in various applications. For examples, the production of diagnostic devices, drug delivery systems, surgical instruments, disposable equipment such as syringes, IV needles, catheters, orthopedic implants and dental tools. They are also used to manufacture housings and covers for different medical equipment.

Medical devices made from injection-molded plastics contribute to the less expensive medical costs. Plastics are also gaining more popularity over metal for medical devices due to their flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and light weight. Also, plastics have low risk of contamination, so they are ideal to use as medical devices.

Technological innovations such as 3D printing and automation are crucial in improving the efficiency and quality of medical device production. More importantly, medical devices made from injection molded plastics can save more lives because they are versatile and can be combined with metals to create better and more efficient properties. At the same time, the progressive plastic injection molding techniques ensure that the final products will be safe and free from contamination. Currently, high-tech polymers are being used in the development of prototypes for medical devices.

Prophecy Market Insights estimates that the global market for plastic injection molding for medical devices will reach $148.88 million by 2030. In that same year, Kasikorn Research Center estimates Thailand will have approximately 3.7 million elderly people with purchasing power.

Although this market has a bright future and continues to shine due to the rise of aging society, there are also challenges which include the compulsory compliance with government regulation, assurance of product quality that are consistent with functionality, cost management, and the need to keep up with the momentum of technological and material advancements.

To get more information about the plastic injection molding industry for medical devices, be sure to stay on top of the latest information, news and movements of mold and die industry from the future issues of ME Blogs. Also, don’t miss "InterMold Thailand 2023" during 21-24 June 2023 at BITEC, Bangkok, where all the mold & die solutions from 250 brands worldwide will be showcased and demonstrated, and the experts will share their insights on the hottest topics.