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Plastic Buttons Making Plant


1.         Product Description:  Buttons are used in garments of all types.  A person with a normal clothing outfit needs at least 20 buttons.  Buttons can be made from metals, wood, glass, plastic and other similar materials.  Probably due to their low cost, plastic buttons are popular among consumers.


2.         Rationale:  Like so many other industrial products, plastic buttons used in the Amhara Region are imported from other parts of the country or from abroad.  However, the production of plastic buttons requires a modest amount of capital and common industrial skills; and there is a capacity to produce plastic buttons in the Region.  This project idea is to promote the establishment of a plastic button making plant in the Amhara Region.


3.         Market Potential:  Imagine the plastic button needs of 19 million people.  In rural Amhara Region women do not wear clothes that need buttons.  Hence if we assume that men in rural areas and both men and women in the urban areas use buttons, this amounts to 10.6 million people.  On the average one person uses about 20 buttons for on set of clothing (jacket, trousers and shirt for a man and blouse, skirt or trousers for a woman).  If we assume that each person has at least two sets of clothing, he/she uses 30 buttons.  Hence the total requirement for buttons in the Region is 318 million buttons.  This figure indicates the existence of captive market for plastic buttons in the Region.


4.         Source of Raw Material:  To be imported.


5.         Process & Technology: Buttons are made in two ways: by moulding or from plastic sheet.  Buttons made by moulding use urea formaldehyde- a thermo set plastic as a raw material.  Separate moulds are required for each type and size of button.  Power presses are used for the manufacture of moulded plastic buttons.  Plastic buttons are also made of acrylic or polyester plastic sheet.  (Polyester sheets are used for high quality buttons).  This project idea considers production of plastic buttons from acrylic sheet.  The main processes of this form of plastic buttons making involve the following.  Full size acrylic sheets are cut into required pieces using plastic sheet cutting machine.  Round pieces of actual size of buttons are made on drill machine with the help of hallow mill cutter.  Finishing/shaping on the buttons is done on a designing machine.  A slotting machine is used to design “fisheye”.  The buttons are polished with a special process in a wooden drum.  Finally, 2 or 4 holes as may be required are made in the buttons.  This is done on the holes master machine.  The main plant and machinery needed for the plant include plastic sheet cutting machine, drill machine with check, designing/shaping machine, hole master machine, grinding machine, wooden polishing drum, designing cum-slotting machine, electric motor.


6.         Estimated Investment:  For a plant which will produce 200 boxes a day (one box will contain 20 dozens or 240 buttons), the estimated investment is:

§  Building/shade 150m2 at Birr 1500/m2               = Birr 225,000

§  Machinery                                                       = Birr 100,000

§  Working Capital                                              = Birr  80,000



7.       Benefits: Saves foreign exchange, regional financial resources, introduces new skills and technology.


8.       Location:  Combolcha, Bahir Dar, Debre Birhan.