2021 Market Trends Podcast Series: Rotational Molding

February 26, 2021 • Posted in Market Insights, Podcasts

Welcome to M. Holland’s 2021 Market Trends Podcast Series. At the end of every year, M. Holland’s market managers take time to reflect on the previous 12 months and anticipate the year to come. What drove their market segments? What can the industry expect to see in the coming months? Typically, we share these insights and predictions in a blog, but this year we decided that a podcast format is more fitting. Listen as these market managers give us an insider’s look at the plastics industry.

In a labor-intensive industry like rotational molding, COVID-19 and the year 2020 brought forth a significant set of challenges and an increased consumer demand for recreation and personal wellness products. Pete Nutley, our Rotational Molding market manager, joins us to share more about the inspiring resilience he witnessed during the pandemic, the market’s quick adoption of technology, where the market saw growth in 2020 and what he’s most looking forward to in 2021.

Play the podcast below.

MHolland Podcast Image

Host:

Welcome to M. Holland’s 2021 Market Trends Podcast Series. At the end of every year, M. Holland’s market managers take time to reflect on the previous 12 months and anticipate the year to come. What drove their market segments? What can the industry expect to see in the coming months? Typically, we share these insights and predictions in a blog, but this year we decided that a podcast format is more fitting. Listen as these market managers give us an insider’s look at the plastics industry.

In a labor-intensive industry like rotational molding, COVID-19 and the year 2020 brought forth a significant set of challenges and an increased consumer demand for recreation and personal wellness products. Pete Nutley, our Rotational Molding market manager, joins us to share more about the inspiring resilience he witnessed during the pandemic, the market’s quick adoption of technology, where the market saw growth in 2020 and what he’s most looking forward to in 2021.

Pete Nutley:

My name is Pete Nutley. I’m the market manager for the Rotational Molding market space. And basically my job has two functions to it. One is on the strategic planning side, and one is on the sales management side. As it relates to the strategic planning side, I ensure that we are bringing the right products and services to the market space of rotational molding. And I work with our key suppliers to make sure that we have the right producers and the right support from our producers to support that segment.

Host:

As you reflect on rotational molding in 2020, what stands out as a key learning point to you?

Pete Nutley:

What has really inspired me about the Rotational Molding market spaces, is its resilience, specifically in the face of a pandemic. When COVID came and the market space was shut down in March, the focus of people in plant safety on our customer base was paramount.

The rotational molding market space requires a lot of labor, so it requires a lot of people involvement. And the focus of our customers to make sure that their plants were well protected, and their people were well protected was very inspirational for me to see that. As well, the resilience of them to come back after the introduction of a pandemic and find new ways to work, they really only slowed down for a period of about 60 days before they were able to implement new strategies and procedures to come back to work at full scale. So, even though the market space shut down relatively at the end of March, it was really only April and May that were slower months and they pretty much came back to capacity in May.

As well, we saw that there were greater adoptions of technology. The rotational molding market space met virtually this year through an ARM conference in September, which is Association of Rotational Molders. This is the first time that it had ever been done. Presentations were well done, the interaction was well done, and it was just a really great demonstration of how technology was accepted within that market space.

Additionally, between myself, my suppliers and our account managers meeting with our customers, we employed a lot of technology to do that. And the willingness and acceptance and resilience of our customers to just default and go to this new virtual environment of meeting was really inspirational to watch.

Host:

Is there a materials application that really won the year for you?

Pete Nutley:

You know, it wasn’t really a single application, as much as consumer categories. We saw shifts in what was important to people during the pandemic. Certainly, recreation items are some of the most recognizable applications in Roto Molding. Kayaks, coolers, docks, and floats all did really well last year, as people focused on improving home life and personal recreation in the face of travel restrictions and quarantine from COVID. Another area in which we saw success was in sanitation. Hand-washing stations and institutional cleaning equipment are other areas in which we saw significant growth. I think that also was COVID-related as well.

Host:

And now, Pete, putting 2020 behind us and looking ahead to 2021, what are you most excited about from a Rotational Molding perspective?

Pete Nutley:

Well, what I’m most excited to see are the new applications based on changing consumer demand. Rotational Molding has a significantly lower cost to entry than other forms of plastic manufacturing. Tooling is less costly than injection molding, and we can make some pretty big parts. As a result, I believe manufacturers and entrepreneurs focused in the areas of recreation and personal wellness are going to be developing some very interesting roto applications.

I think there are some other areas that I think we’re going to see some impact or some changes and advancements in ‘21 would be addressing the labor components of the segment. Roto has a lot of labor involved in it, in the process. But there are new materials in the market that can improve cycle times. That’s going to allow for more parts per shift. Roto machines with greater mold capacities and adopting more automation, it’s going to help address the labor challenges.

But I think what I’m looking forward to the most in ‘21 is as we get the pandemic under control, more vaccinations are administered and people are able to travel safely, is getting to meet new and existing clients to discuss and collaborate on opportunities in person. Virtual has been working in the last year, but this business is very personal and that comes off much better in person.

Host:

Thank you, Pete, for sharing all of those great insights, and thank you for listening. Continue to tune in to learn what 2020 meant and what 2021 will bring from markets including Healthcare, 3D Printing, Wire & Cable, Electrical & Electronics, Flexible Packaging, Rotational Molding, Color Compounding, Automotive and Sustainability. All episodes can be found on the News & Insights page on the M. Holland website. We’ll see you next time.

Featuring:

Pete Nutley

Specialty Products Manager

M. Holland Peter Nutley

As Rotational Molding Market Manager, Pete Nutley ensures that M. Holland is providing valuable services and products within this market space. He develops strategy with suppliers and manages a team of Key Account Managers to ensure the company delivers effective rotomolding solutions to clients. Pete has worked at M. Holland for 13 years, serving in many areas of the business from product management to operational management and beyond. Throughout his career, Pete has gained sales management, strategic planning, supply chain and vendor management experience in the plastics industry. He previously held positions with Ashland and Performance Polymers. Pete received education in plastics technology from the College of DuPage. He is also an active member of the Association of Rotational Molders (ARM).

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