Producing your plastisol in-house can be one way to save costs, but it also comes with a number of challenges that could have an impact on your overall operations. Whether you are thinking about starting, or continuing, in-house plastisol production, be sure to weigh the following factors when determining the best solution for your business.
Production planning: Producing your own plastisol adds complexity to the planning process. Having a streamlined and efficient production process will work to your advantage. It’s important to decide whether focusing this energy on your end products would be a better way to support your core business and/or use planning resources most efficiently.
Supply chain security: The supply for PVC dispersion resin can be volatile and, when supply gets tight, smaller plastisol producers are often affected the most. Additionally, supply chain issues around pigments, stabilizers and additives that are taken out of production may leave you scrambling for formulation alternatives. Larger volumes can alleviate some of the supply chain concerns, so it helps to figure out where you fit in terms of buying power before making the decision to go in-house or outsource.
Quality control: When you produce plastisol, you also assume the challenges associated with producing in-spec formulations for your end products to ensure consistent quality, each and every time. Effective quality procedures are needed to help mitigate unreliable and inconsistent results.
Equipment maintenance: Maintaining plastisol mixing equipment up to industry standards may prove costly, and can require a significant amount of time from production operators. A dedicated maintenance team can help fill this resource gap.
Labor resources: Time and safety are key factors with your labor force. Your team will need to not only devote labor hours to equipment maintenance, but to the clean-up of spills and dust accumulation in the surrounding area. And, speaking of dust, to keep workers safe, you’ll need to have a proper air filtration system and/or protective equipment.
Scrap disposal: Be sure to consider the cost of scrap plastisol disposal. If you’d rather convert the scrap into usable product, prepare for at least $0.30 per pound of scrap. Astute planning keeps scrap to a minimum and helps offset the costs associated with disposal.
Inventory management: Producing plastisol in-house means managing all of the needed raw materials internally. Again, planning is key throughout the production process. You’ll need to account for added inventory planning steps and raw material delivery cycles.
As you consider the pros and cons associated with in-house plastisol production, consider these seven issues to determine what will work best in your situation. If you’d like assistance evaluating any of these factors, contact us. We have technical expertise and a core competency working with plastisol materials, and can offer options for your specific needs.