Finnish Plastics Industries Federation | Plastics Industries in Finland: Competent reliability
Finland has a very multifaceted business sector for the manufacturing of plastic products. Nearly all forms and competences of processing plastics can be found here, within more than 500 companies.
Injection moulding is still the most common and highest-demand method of manufacturing large series of precisely sized technical plastic products, as regards subcontracting. Nowadays there are approximately 2,000 injection moulding machines of varying sizes and performance levels in plastics companies in Finland. Injection moulding machines have been purchased to Finland at a pace of several dozen per year, and businesses have purchased other new manufacturing equipment at a similar or faster rate. Machines and, especially, the working tools to be installed in them are increasingly being purchased from Europe instead of Asia. Throughout, there is a rising trend in domestic content.
In addition to injection moulding, common forms of plastic processing found domestically include thermoforming, manufacturing methods of single-use plastic products, mechanical processing, extrusion, rotational moulding, blow moulding, 3D printing and others. Domestic companies also provide their clients with a wide range of services in designing, choosing materials and techniques, and other important stages of the processing chain that require solid expertise. Even in-service product maintenance and post-service recycling are easier to address with a local manufacturer than with a remote operator supplying parts from across the world.
Traditionally, security of supply has been a key factor in providing competitive edge for Finnish industries. Now, in the 2020s, the benefits of locally manufactured products have been highlighted in new ways. The “buy fast and buy cheap” model has collapsed so many times that more and more people have started to doubt it.
More than 10,000 professionals are working in the Finnish plastics industries. That is a suitably sized group with strong internal networking; many have offered and received help quickly when needed, from their nearby connections. Throughout its history, the Subcontracting Trade Fair has had a unique and positive role in the crucial art of networking in Finland that connects people but also crosses inter-sectoral boundaries.
The skills and capacity of our plastics industries are more than sufficient to cater the international market as well. In addition to good security of supply, our sales-boosting characteristics include overall reliability, accountability and quality. Now we even have a good supply of energy at our disposal, contrary to many other production countries. More than half of the plastic products manufactured here are exported directly or as part of an export product. Global competition is tough, however, since there is some form of manufacturing of plastic products almost everywhere in the world. As we approach the end of 2023, Finnish plastics industries are looking into the future with hope for both the domestic and export market. We know how to process plastics. We do it with competence and with a solid reliability that no other place in this unstable world can offer.
The columnist is Vesa Kärhä, CEO, Finnish Plastics Industries Federation
FIPIF is an organization for plastic manufacturers in Finland. FIPIF brings plastic companies together and acts as their voice towards legislators and other organizations. FIPIF provides a platform for cooperation for plastic companies. Read more: plastic.fi/eng