A Cost-Effective Option (and a Whole Lot More)
How Thermoforming Can Be an Ideal Process for Heavy-Gauge Plastic Parts
Profile Plastics provides design assistance for improved manufacturability and final assembly. This expertise can help to further reduce cost and production time and lead to a superior end product—maximizing the inherent benefits of the thermoforming process.
You’ll also have an edge thanks to factors like these:
Options for materials
Plastic parts can be manufactured for a wider range of end use applications. Our decades of experience with an array of thermoplastic materials means we know how to specify physical and cosmetic properties for your parts, such as:
- Molded-in color (eliminates part painting and thus reduces cost)
- Finishes, embossed features, and textures
- UV & chemical resistance
- UL94 Flame resistance
- Low temperature impact
- Heat distortion temperature
We can also optimize these properties in a cost-effective way to add value to the part. For more info, please see our Material Expertise page.
Critical dimensions can be formed in or trimmed in with our 5-axis CNC robotic trimming equipment.
Large parts—up to 8′ x 12′—in particular can be produced at much lower tooling costs than injection molding. Our large machines allow us to take on parts that many others can’t. And with our thermoforming techniques, the larger the part, the more cost-effective the process is for you.
Supply Chain Capabilities
Need further support after we manufacture your plastics parts? Smart supply chain support can actually help lower the total cost of your project. We have the systems, facilities, and capacity to take on complex assembly, handle outbound shipping, and assist with other supply chain needs.
A variety of thermoforming techniques to meet your requirements
To best meet the needs of our customers, Profile Plastics manufactures parts in three ways. Check out the respective page for more details:
Highly detailed parts can be produced by pressure forming—matching the capabilities of injection molding yet with lower tooling costs and shorter lead times.
The most common of the three techniques, vacuum forming is especially useful for parts that demand a fast turnaround.
This technique produces plastic parts that are hollow for insulation, airflow, or rigidity purposes. These resemble rotationally molded or blow-molded parts while maintaining the advantages of thermoforming, such as cosmetic features and broader material selection.
Understanding the Thermoforming Process
Heavy-gauge thermoforming involves the heating of extruded thermoplastic sheet and the subsequent application of a force (vacuum and/or pressure) to form the sheet into or over a 3-dimensional shape.
The world of thermoforming is divided into thin-gauge thermoforming; roll-fed sheet thermoforming (primarily packaging applications); and heavy-gauge (0.030″ to 0.050″) cut sheet thermoforming (all other non-packaging markets).
Thermoplastic sheet is available in a wide variety of materials with different end use properties, most of which may be custom-colored to suit your application. After forming, parts are then trimmed as a secondary process using 5-axis CNC equipment.
Profile Plastics specializes in sheet-fed, heavy-gauge thermoforming utilizing starting plastic sheet thicknesses of 0.030″ to 0.50″. We provide all three categories of thermoforming: vacuum forming, pressure forming, and twin-sheet forming.
The Thermoforming Innovator for More Than 60 years
Founded in 1960, Profile Plastics has established itself as an industry leader by continually improving both our thermoforming processes and the parts themselves.
We’ve also built an exceptional team of experienced engineers who help optimize part designs for improved performance and cost-efficiency.
We depend on maintaining strong, long-term relationships with our customers.