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Automotive mould industry development status and market trend analysis

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Mold is an important basic process forming equipment in industrial production, often referred to as “mother of industry.” With rapid development of automobile industry, automotive molding have become the most important component of plastic injection molding industry and its’ scale continues to expand. Driven by national automobile lightweight policy, development of lightweight vehicles is an inevitable trend, which will effectively promote development of plastic injection molding.

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automotive components
  • Demand for automotive molding is not decreasing, and scale of automotive mould industry is expanding steadily.

According to statistics, more than 95% of parts on the car need to rely on mold for batch processing in the development of a new car, about 20,000 auto parts, including sheet metal parts, die-casting parts, stamping parts, plastic molded parts, electronic components and so on. In the development and manufacturing process of these parts, a large number of molds and fixtures are required, and demand for molds is the largest item. Generally speaking, in the development of a new car, more than 1,500 sets of automobile die casting mold, more than 800 sets of plastic injection molding, more than 300 sets of sheet metal molds, and more than 100 sets of die casting mold are needed. Therefore, every time the whole vehicle is changed, it needs thousands of molds, worth up to hundreds of millions of yuan. For example, Volkswagen Passat’s full body mold value is more than 250 million yuan.

Demand for automobile mold development in new cars

With upgrading of people’s consumption experience, demand for automobiles is constantly improving, prompting car companies to continuously upgrade their original cars or develop new models. Demand for automotive molding will only increase. According to “Automotive Mould Industry Production and Demand Forecast and Transformation and Upgrade Analysis Report” issued by Prospective Industry Research Institute, automotive mould account for about 1/3 of plastic injection molding industry’s market share, according to statistics of National Bureau of Statistics, 2017. Sales revenue of automotive mould example in China is 266.342 billion yuan. According to this calculation, scale of China’s automotive mould market reached 88.8 billion yuan in 2017. It is expected that scale of automotive mould industry will continue to expand in 2018, and market size will exceed 90 billion yuan. In the future, with further acceleration of automobile replacement speed, automotive molding will usher in a larger development space, and development prospects are worth looking forward to.

China’s automotive mold marker scale in 2011-2018

  • Lightweight of automobiles is trend of times, and prospects for plastic injection molding are good.

From perspective of material for automotive molding, it can be mainly divided into metal molds, plastic injection molding and inorganic non-metal molds. At present, mold manufacturing is still dominated by metal molds. With the need of environmental protection and energy conservation, automobile lightweight has become one of the main trends in the development of automotive design in the world. Tests show that for every 10% reduction in vehicle, fuel efficiency can be increased by 6-8%; and for every 100 kilograms of vehicle, fuel consumption per 100 kilometers can be reduced by 0.3-0.6 liters.

Energy saving effect of automobile weight reduction

Plastic injection molding are widely used due to their lighter weight. At present, interior parts of developed countries’ automobiles have basically achieved lightweight plastics. Application of plastics in automobiles body is being developed from interior parts, exterior parts, body parts and structural parts, such as Mercedes-Benz Smart, Lotus Elisey and Renault Espace. Overall, use of plastics in automotive sector in developed countries is continuing to grow. Proportion of plastic injection molding in total automotive molding has exceeded 60%, accounting for about 10-15% of the total mass of car. In the future, with pursuit of lightweight design of automobiles, use of plastics in automotive field will become larger and larger, and amount of automotive plastics used will become an important criterion for measuring level of automobiles.

Proportion of automobile plastic molding in China and developed countries


However, as far as current domestic development status is concerned, China’s plastic injection molding account for less than 40% of the total, far below foreign level. However, lightweight of automobiles is an inevitable trend. For example, in October 2016, “Energy Saving and New Energy Technology Vehicle Roadmap” issued by China Automotive Engineering Society predicted that overall vehicle quality will be 40% less than that in 2015 by 2030. It can be seen that under trend of China’s automobile light weighting, there is still huge room for development of china plastic injection molding.

Chinese automobile weight trend predict by “Energy-Saving and New Energy Technology Car Roadmap”

Many domestic enterprises are promoting development of plastic injection molding. For example, “large-scale composite tailgate mold” developed by Kunshan Yinbaoshan New Technology Co., Ltd. replaces metal tailgate inner plate with hot-pressed SMC automobile tailgate inner panel, uses plastic instead of steel to realize lightweight of automobile; “automobile wheel cover injection mold” of Ningbo Far East Mould Co., Ltd. is used to produce thin-walled automobile wheel cover products. Wall thickness of parts is only 1.0mm, compared with traditional wall thickness (1.6- 1.8mm), it can greatly increase level of light weight. It is worth mentioning that lightweight of interior and exterior of car is an important part for lightweight of car. Lightweight of interior and exterior trim can not only reduce energy consumption of the whole car, but more importantly, bring improvement of safety and comfort. Therefore, all OEMs attach great importance to lightweight of interior and exterior trim, and plastic injection molding will be widely used in automotive interior and exterior.

Of course, in addition to lightweight of automobiles, with development of vehicle networking technology, degree of motorization and intelligence of automobiles is constantly improving, development of automobiles in the future will be driven by automotive electronics. Technology development of core technologies for core actuators in various electronic control systems, such as injectors, solenoid valves, VVTs, clutches, hydraulic valves, etc., has also put forward higher requirements for auto parts companies and automotive electronic mold companies. Also it will also bring a broader market prospect to plastic injection molding industry.


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