Pick something up in front of you, is it plastic? If it isn’t, does that mean that no plastic was needed to make that product? The answer is, no. Plastic has spread into every part of the world, including that of production.
Plastic’s influence has grown tremendously over the years. Recently, people have been trying to move away from the hydrocarbon-based plastics made from oils and other non-renewable raw materials. This, however, does not change the reality that plastics are currently being used in every aspect of life.
As soon as the production process starts, plastic is involved. When the raw material is harvested, plastic tools, containers, or other equipment is used; when the material is transported to the production plant, plastic is used; when the material is converted into a final product, more plastic. Let’s look at how plastic is used in creating other things, whether plastic or otherwise.
The Production Process
The first moving assembly line was put together by Henry Ford in 1913. This revolutionized how things are produced. This was around the same time plastic was invented, in the early 1900s. Soon, this two genius invention would be combined to form some of the fastest ways of producing things known to man.
A large portion of the production line is now completed with machinery. Before the machines, people were used at each step. However, people aren’t efficient at all times of the day. Machines do the job far better, and with plastic parts, these machines became more affordable, allowing more businesses to expand and improve their production process.
Very soon most businesses worldwide were making use of machinery and other plastic parts to speed up and improve the efficiency of their production line. If you analyze a production line today, you will be able to see plastic everywhere. Depending on the product being created, you will find large and small plastic products helping along the process. Conveyer belts use plastic belts, plastic gears and wheels are used to move things along, and plastic dividers are used to separate the different areas of the production line.
Packaging and Distributing
Another big aspect of the production process for smaller good is packaging. Packaging was relatively expensive before cheaper materials came alone and plastic was a great alternative for a variety of products. Plastic could ensure all of the contents of the package stayed together and that any damage would be absorbed by the surrounding plastic, instead of damaging the product.
Once products are packaged, how are they going to get to their destination? With the help of plastic of course. The distribution process involved cars, planes, trains, ships, in whatever combination is necessary to get the goods from A to B. In all of these items, plastic is involved. You won’t find a modern mode of transport that does not use plastic in a variety of ways. Most of our cars today even have plastic exteriors, instead of the heavier metal ones of the past.
Wherever you look in the production process, you will find the presence of plastic. It’s strength and the relatively cheap price has made it a go-to product for businesses looking to make quality products