Our Process - Part 1

Our Process - Part 2

 

The Process

 

Thermoforming is a process in which a sheet of plastic is heated to a flexible state, stretched over or into a mold, allowed to cool, and removed from the mold for trimming.

The first step in the Thermoforming process is the creation of a mold from which a tool will be made. We create the molds in-house based on customer specifications. Depending on the number of items ordered, the tool is made from wood or cast aluminum.

 

Once the mold is manufactured, our experts choose the appropriate plastic for your product. It is imperative to choose the correct materials as different plastics have different characteristics. These include formability, impact strength, shrinkage rate, availability, color, and ability to be painted.

Now, the selected plastic is placed into a frame. The plastic sheet is then heated in an oven to the desired temperature. Accurate temperature control is imperative, as the plastic must be uniformly heated.

 

When the correct temperature is reached and the sheet is sufficiently flexible, it is transferred from the oven and the mold is hydraulically raised to meet the plastic. The base, on which the tool sits, has numerous small holes that allow a vacuum to be applied. This vacuum pulls the plastic tightly around the tool. The next step is to cool the molded plastic, which is accomplished by large fans blowing on the formed plastic from all sides.

 

When the plastic form is cool, it is separated from the mold by reversing the process and forcing air through the small holes in the base. Once the molded piece is released from the tool, it is transferred to the trimming station where it undergoes a 2-steps process to remove excess material. All excess material is recycled.

The final step in the process is quality control to ensure that it meets our high standards as well as the customer’s specifications.