April 14, 2024

Thermoforming plastic is a widely used manufacturing process that involves heating a sheet of plastic to a pliable temperature, forming it into a specific shape using a mold, and then cooling it to create a finished product. This versatile technique is utilized across various industries, including packaging, automotive, healthcare, and consumer goods. In this article, we will delve into the market research of thermoforming plastic, exploring its current trends and future prospects. The thermoforming plastic market has witnessed significant growth in recent years and is expected to continue its upward trajectory. The thermoforming plastic market is projected to grow from USD 34.8 billion in 2019 to USD 45.9 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 5.7% between 2019 and 2024. The report provides the current thermoforming plastic market size, defines trends and presents growth forecasts for nine years from 2019 to 2024. The increased demand for lightweight and cost-effective packaging solutions, along with the rising preference for sustainable materials, has been a driving force behind this growth. Thermoformed plastic packaging offers several advantages, such as customization, durability, and enhanced product visibility, making it a preferred choice for manufacturers.

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Browse in-depth TOC on “Thermoforming Plastic Market

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Key Trends

  1. Sustainability and Environmental Concerns: With the growing awareness of environmental issues, there is a rising demand for eco-friendly packaging solutions. Thermoforming plastics can be manufactured using recycled materials and are recyclable themselves. This trend is pushing manufacturers to adopt sustainable practices, such as using bio-based materials and reducing overall plastic consumption.
  2. Technological Advancements: The thermoforming plastic industry is witnessing rapid technological advancements aimed at improving production efficiency and product quality. Innovations in mold design, automation, and material formulation are enabling manufacturers to enhance their capabilities and offer more complex and intricate products. Additionally, advancements in digital printing technology are providing opportunities for high-quality graphics and branding on thermoformed plastic products.
  3. Healthcare Sector Growth: Thermoforming plastic finds extensive applications in the healthcare sector, including medical device packaging, trays, and disposable products. The rising global population, coupled with increasing healthcare expenditure, is driving the demand for healthcare products, thereby fueling the growth of the thermoforming plastic market.
  4. Automotive Industry Expansion: The automotive industry is a major consumer of thermoformed plastic products. Lightweight, durable, and cost-effective components are in high demand, particularly for interior and exterior applications. As the automotive industry continues to expand, the thermoforming plastic market is projected to grow further.

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Future Prospects

The future of the thermoforming plastic market looks promising, driven by various factors:

  1. Growing Demand in Emerging Economies: Rapid industrialization, urbanization, and increasing consumer spending in emerging economies like China, India, and Brazil are expected to propel the demand for thermoformed plastic products. The rising middle-class population and changing lifestyles will further boost market growth in these regions.
  2. Shift towards Bio-based and Compostable Materials: The focus on sustainability will continue to drive the market towards the adoption of bio-based and compostable materials. As regulations become more stringent regarding plastic waste management, manufacturers will increasingly invest in alternative materials and processes to meet environmental standards.
  3. Customization and Design Flexibility: Thermoforming plastic allows for intricate designs and customization, enabling manufacturers to cater to specific customer requirements. This design flexibility will play a crucial role in attracting diverse industry sectors, including electronics, food, and aerospace, among others.
  4. Adoption of Automation and Robotics: The integration of automation and robotics in thermoforming plastic processes will lead to improved efficiency, reduced labor costs, and increased production capacity. This shift towards automation will enhance the overall productivity and competitiveness of manufacturers.

PP-based thermoforming plastic comprises a major share of the thermoforming plastic market, in terms of value.

The thermoforming plastic market is segmented based on plastic-type as polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), bioplastics, acronytrile butadiene styrene (ABS), and others. The global thermoforming plastic market is dominated by the PP, in terms of value and volume. This is due to the extensive use of this plastic in packaging applications such as food, medical device, and automotive. The excellent strength to weight ratio, excellent energy management, resilient, good chemical resistance, and durability makes it an ideal choice for packaging applications.

The pressure forming segment is projected to register the highest CAGR in the global thermoforming plastic market during the forecast period.

The thermoforming plastic market is segmented based on thermoforming type as vacuum forming, pressure forming, and mechanical forming. Pressure forming is cost-effective, and it can also be used to manufacture complex shapes due to which is used across all applications. Some of the major applications areas include medical equipment, office equipment, vented equipment enclosures, control pads, scientific instruments, detailed components, control panels, and multi-part assemblies.

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North America is expected to account for the largest market share in the thermoforming plastic market during the forecast period.

Europe is estimated to account for the largest share of the market in 2019. North America led the thermoforming plastic market in 2018 due to the high demand of thermoformed structural parts and thermoformed packaging from automotive, food & agriculture packaging, consumer goods & appliances and healthcare industries in this region. The demand for thermoforming plastic will be driven by factors such as increasing electronic goods sales, high disposable income, increasing demand for packaged foods, and demographic changes. North America is home to some of the prominent thermoforming plastic manufacturers such as Pactiv LLC, Sonoco Products Company, D&W Fine Pack LLC, and so on. Technological advancements in the packaging industry primarily drive the market in this region.

Thermoforming Plastic Market Key Players:

Fabri-Kal Corp. (US), Berry Global Inc. (US), Genpak LLC (US), Pactiv LLC (US), D&W Fine Pack LLC (US), Amcor Ltd. (Australia), Dart Container Corp. (US), Anchor Packaging (US), Sabert Corporation (US), Sonoco Products Company (US) were some of the key players in the global Thermoforming Plastic Market. These players have adopted various organic and inorganic developmental strategies over the past five years.

Amcor Ltd. (Australia) is the second-largest player in the thermoforming plastic market. The company is involved in improving its position in the value chain with particular emphasis on innovation, high value-added products, and services. The company is engaged in providing innovative and effective solutions for food packaging around the globe.  In September 2018, the company acquired Bemis Company Inc. (US),creating the global leader in packaging. This helped the company to increase its packaging operations in the US.