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Thermoforming

A reliable source for Thermoforming information and leading Thermoforming Companies & Suppliers.

Such varied industries as food processing, cosmetic, medical, electronics, entertainment, household product, toy, athletic equipment, appliance, automotive, office supply and clothing manufacturing rely heavily upon this process. Read More…

Thermoforming Thermoforming is a relatively simple, but beneficial manufacturing process in which plastic materials are heated, stretched and cooled to form complete parts and components.
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Leading Manufacturers

Greeneville, TN  |  423-638-1284

Valk’s policy is “to meet or exceed our customer’s requirements, working together as a team with honesty and integrity.” Valk’s success is due to their long standing focus on quality & customer service.

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Valk Industries, Inc. $$$

New Milford, CT  |  860-354-0885

For over 40 years, Conlet Plastics has been a leader in vacuum forming. They serve a wide variety of industries including medical, airline, automotive and signage, with high-quality products that are reasonably priced & delivered on time.

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Conlet Plastics, Inc. $$$

Lake Bluff, IL  |  847-604-5100

Since 1960, Profile Plastics Inc. has been at the forefront of thermoforming technology. Utilizing the latest software and technology, our expert staff of engineers can design custom vacuum, pressure, and twin-sheet thermoformed solutions. Over the last 60 years, we have developed a process that allows us to deliver consistent, high volume, and precise products with superior quality. Our high quality products are manufactured with great attention to detail. ISO 9001:2008 certified.

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Profile Plastics, Inc. $$$

Stirling, NJ  |  908-647-3500

Engineered Plastic Products custom forms & fabricates sheet thermoplastic materials, standard & specialized, for any number of industrial & commercial requirements. EPP has been widely recognized for outstanding manufacturing & service since 1958 for companies such as GE, NASA & AT&T. Custom fabricated parts can be as large as 72"x108" down to 2"x2" in any thickness up to 1 1/2". Post-forming includes all types of machining & assembly.

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Engineered Plastic Products, Inc. $$$

Muncie, IN  |  765-286-0533

Arrowhead has been in the heavy gauge thermoforming industry since 1972. Current machinery includes single station shuttle machines that can form parts up to 120” by 72” and rotary vacuum forming machines that can form parts up to 108” by 108”. The plant also has 5-Axis CNC routers with a cutting envelope of 120” by 60” X 48” for precision part trimming and a FARO arm for precision measuring and scanning. We have experience thermoforming a wide range of different polymers for many different industries.

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Arrowhead Plastic Engineering, Inc. $$$

McSherrystown, PA  |  717-633-6333

Founded in 1986, SAY Plastics is a plastics processor specializing in OEM thermoforming. Our state-of the-art facility, located in South Central Pennsylvania, houses the latest manufacturing technologies. From our computer controlled forming equipment and our vacuum molding capabilities, to our brand new high speed CNC Routers, SAY Plastics has the tools for your next project. Our team will work with you every step of the way to ensure quality service every time.

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SAY Plastics, Inc. $$$

New Britain, CT  |  860-224-2242

SouthPack has been a One Stop Shop for our customers for over 30 years. SP can handle your entire packaging project under one roof, from Design to Packaging to Assembly to Displays to Distribution. We service all Markets - Medical, Retail, Food, Promotional, Electronics, OEM and more. We pride ourselves on being a Problem solver. SP offers multiple platforms to fit your budget and needs. We take great pride in our work because we know our products represent and protect your products.

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SouthPack $$$

Coleman, MI  |  877-465-4055

Robinson Industries offers thermoformed and injection molded reusable, heavy duty plastic pallets, packaging and more. We are one of the largest suppliers of reusable pallets to many industries.

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Robinson Industries $$$
placeholder image Valk Industries, Inc. Conlet Plastics, Inc. Profile Plastics, Inc. Engineered Plastic Products, Inc. Arrowhead Plastic Engineering, Inc. SAY Plastics, Inc. SouthPack Robinson Industries

Thermoforming is a process that packaging and shipping industries in particular rely on because of the inexpensive production of products such as blister packs, shrink wrap, bins and clamshells that house and protect other consumer products. Optimal for medium to large scale production, thermoforming allows manufacturers to produce a several uniform parts with a very fast turn around time, often a few seconds per part.

To further accommodate industry, thermoforming processes can utilize are large number of thermoplastics. Acrylic, low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polyvinyl chloride, crystalline polyester, semi-gloss polymers and others are commonly used to produce parts of varied rigidity, moisture resistance and other such qualities.

Thermoforming Thermoformed Products - Profile Plastics, Inc.

It is important to consider the intended use of a thermoformed part when selecting the most appropriate material base. Further considerations include thickness, machine dimensions, depth of draw, air pressure and clamping force. Thermoforming professionals can assist consumers in product design to ensure the proper machine, material and part are chosen.

The thermoforming process follows several important steps. First, the thermoplastic sheet or film is fed into a heating device that uses electric, infrared or natural gas powered heaters to raise the temperature of the plastic. The duration and temperature of the heating process vary according to the differing properties of the polymers used. Once the material becomes soft and pliable, it is transferred to the form station. The sheet is stretched over a temperature-controlled surface referred to as a mold or buck. There are several different types of thermoforming that deviate slightly at this stage of processing.

Vacuum forming is the most commonly used technique. This requires the application of negative air, or suction between the mold and the plastic, thereby pulling the two together for better adherence. Pressure forming operates in a similar manner but uses positive air flow for better adherence. This step offers the most precision forming and is used when detail is essential. Twin sheet thermoforming combines two sheets, sealing them together with a seam around the edge to create a single uniform part. Finally, drape forming produces parts with a gradual bend.

When sufficient adherence is achieved, the part is dried, cooled and cured before being ejected and trimmed as needed via cutting, drilling, hand routing or CNC machining. If needed secondary processes are then performed. Printing and hot stamped are commonly used for product identification, labeling or marketing.

Thermoforming Informational Video

 
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