Advanced Thermoforming Solutions

How To Choose The Right Pressure Forming Company

Design | Inside The Factory | Pressure Forming | Thermoforming

Pressure Forming

Say you’ve decided that pressure forming is the right process for your next plastic manufacturing project.  How do you choose the right company to pressure form with?

While we’re obviously not a neutral party in this situation, we do have some advice that will help you get on the right track.

Price Matters

It’s not a bad idea to get your first project quoted by multiple pressure formers.  If you’re not familiar with the industry and what things should cost, it can help to make sure that you’re not being taken advantage of.

But it’s important to make sure you’re considering more than just the total at the bottom of the quote sheet.

How much would it cost you if you didn’t meet your deadline?  What about the  cost of changing your mold because of unexpected problems?  Or the costs of production defects?

Look at price, but remember that the cheapest quote you get up front, might not offer the best value in the end.

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Medical Device Manufacturers & Thermoforming: By the Numbers

Inside The Factory | Thermoforming

Thermoforming

After we published the results of our 2014 thermoforming industry survey, Medical Design Briefs asked if we could share the results of the survey that are specific to the medical device industry.

We were more than happy to, and the result is an article in their February, 2015 edition.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Only 7% of Medical Device Manufacturers are Happy with Offshore Manufacturing and Have No Plans to Reshore
  • Medical Device Manufacturers Care About Quality Even More Than Customers In Other Industries
  • Thermoforming Accounts for 28% of Overall Plastics Manufacturing by Medical Device Manufacturers, and is Expected to Grow

Get the full details from the article.

Who’s Thermoforming – The Crossword

Thermoforming

It’s not always easy to tell which companies are using thermoforming, but the truth is that if you choose pressure forming or vacuum forming for your next project, you’re in good company.

We’ve put together a list of 17 companies who, we have it on good authority, use thermoforming. We could just give you the list, but instead we thought we’d make things a bit more fun with a crossword.

Get your puzzle on below, and find out which leading companies have chosen thermoforming as the right process for them.

Want to break out your pencil and go oldschool? Download this PDF and party like it’s 2005.

When you’re done (no cheating!) you can check out the answer key here.

9 Reasons Medical Device Manufacturers Love Pressure Forming

Design | Large Part Thermoforming | Pressure Forming | Thermoforming

Pressure Forming

When it comes to manufacturing medical device enclosures, there are several processes to choose from. We know we’re a bit biased, but more often than not, pressure formed plastic really is the best option for medical device enclosures.

Here are 9 reasons why.

#1: Cost at Quantity

When you factor in both tooling and production costs, pressure forming quite often has the lowest total cost of any other process in volumes of the high-hundreds to mid-thousands. These are very common quantities in medical device enclosure manufacturing.

#2: Large Part Capability

Our pressure forming machines can create single pieces up to a full 10’x6’, with up to 40” of depth. That’s the type of size you need when you’re creating enclosures for things like MRI, CT and X-Ray machines, or ancillary equipment like beds and chairs.

#3: Huge Material Selection

When you’re pressure forming, you can choose from literally hundreds of materials. These materials can come with properties like excellent impact protection, V-0 flammability ratings and even built-in antimicrobial resistance. The same thermoplastic materials that are used for injection molding are commonly used in pressure forming. READ MORE

Announcing Our Thermoforming Survey Winner

Inside The Factory

Ray Products

We’re happy to announce that Albert McGovern, Director of Mechanical Engineering at Shure Incorporated, is the winner of this year’s thermoforming survey thank-you-gift drawing.

We’ll be sending Albert’s Herman Miller Aeron chair to his home office, where both Albert and his wife can enjoy it.

“Our backs,” he said, “are already thanking us.”

Congratulations to Albert and his wife. To everyone else, don’t worry. We’ll be back next year with another survey, and another opportunity to win a fabulous prize.

Manufacturers Like Thermoforming, Saving Money and Domestic Manufacturing — Our 2014 Industry Survey Results

Large Part Thermoforming | Plastics Manufacturing

Thermoforming

A few weeks back, we sent out our second annual thermoforming industry survey to more than 2,000 engineers and administrators at companies across the United States that use custom plastics manufacturing.

Last year’s survey focused on what these companies were looking for when they chose a plastics manufacturer to work with. This year, we expanded our focus a bit. Here’s what we learned.

Thermoforming is Big, And Getting Bigger

Our survey found that thermoforming accounted for about 25% of custom plastic manufacturing projects in the past year, and our survey takers expect it to grow a bit in the coming year.

Over the past 12 months, what percentage of the plastics manufacturing projects you were involved with used thermoforming? READ MORE

How 3D Printing Can Be An Asset To Your Next Thermoforming Project

Large Part Thermoforming | Thermoforming

Thermoforming

3D printing is big news, and it’s no wonder. Just a few years ago, the idea of printing directly from a CAD file to a 3D physical object in a matter of minutes was preposterous. Today, it’s entirely possible.

With so much coverage in the press and popularity online, we’re sometimes asked, “Is 3D printing cutting into your business?” The very truthful answer is, not at all. In fact, it can be quite helpful.

You see, 3D printing is great at what it does, but what 3D printing does is quite different from what thermoforming does.

Thermoforming is a very cost-effective process once you’re planning to produce quantities of a few hundred parts up into the mid-thousands. When potential customers ask us to produce a single prototype, we usually refer them to 3D printing or other prototyping processes to help insure manufacturability in thermoforming. This way when they’re ready for that production run, there’s going to be no question which process is right for them. READ MORE

11 Reasons You Should Switch From Sheet Metal to Thermoformed Plastic

Plastics Manufacturing | Thermoforming

Thermoforming

As humans, we like the familiar. The comfortable. And often, the answer to “why do you do it that way” is “because we’ve always done it that way.” That’s a fine answer when it comes to which section of the newspaper we read first (sports, followed by business and a cursory glance at the international news section, obviously) but more of an issue when it comes to choosing a manufacturing process.

If you’re currently manufacturing using sheet metal, it’s worth taking a look at switching to thermoformed plastic. It’s very possible that by making the switch you could end up with a better, more durable and more attractive product that costs less to manufacture.

Here are 11 reasons to consider the switch.
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Brand-New from 1972: Reverse Engineering the Past

Inside The Factory | Thermoforming

Reverse Engineering

Forty-two years ago, flying the friendly skies was a very different experience from what it is today. So you might be surprised to learn that there’s still demand for an aircraft part that was last manufactured in 1972.

This creates a challenge. How do you recreate a part that hasn’t come off a production line in over 40 years? The short answer is, you call Ray Products.

That’s more or less what happened when an aircraft parts manufacturer came to us with a sample part and a full-size drawing from the part’s last production run in 1972. They needed to create more parts, and they needed the replacements to match the original exactly.

We put our engineering team to work, and used a combination of cutting-edge 3D technology and 60+ years of industry experience to create a cost-effective replacement that matches the original part millimeter for millimeter.

Get the full story in our Project Gallery.

Reshoring Aston Martin: How James Bond’s Favorite Carmaker Learned What Our Customers Already Know About Thermoforming

Plastics Manufacturing

An abridged version of this article appeared in the April 14, 2014 print edition of Plastics News, and on PlasticsNews.com.  

Reshoring Thermoforming

The story of the United States’ trade deficit with China (over $318 billion in 2013) is one that most of us are familiar with. Cheaper labor costs and more limited regulations often mean that “Made in China” is cheaper than “Made in America.”

But as the executives at Aston Martin will tell you, the true costs of outsourcing your manufacturing might not look so good over the longer term. James Bond’s favorite automaker issued a recall for 17,950 of its vehicles in early February, due to counterfeit material used by one of its offshore manufacturing partners.

According to the letter they sent to the NHTSA, Aston Martin’s engineers specified that DuPont PA6 plastic be used in the injection-molding of throttle pedals featured in many of their vehicles manufactured since 2007. However, when they investigated claims of the throttle pedals breaking, Aston’s engineers found the pedals had been manufactured from counterfeit material.

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