Top Thermoforming Blog Posts

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Over the past years of writing our blog we have had many questions asked about Thermoforming and have written several blog posts that address specific questions related to Thermofming, Vacuum Forming, Plastic Enclosures and more! Here are the top 3 blog posts related to Thermoforming:  Continue Reading

Trustworthy Thermoforming… Trustworthy Manufacturing?

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describe the imageTrustworthy?  Is Your Company Trustworthy?  Are You?
We have recently released a Thermoforming Design Guide for engineers and designers.  It lists a lots of technical data about Thermoforming, Vacuum Forming, and Pressure Forming.  This is vital information that can make or break the successful manufacture of thermoformed plastic parts.

While reading through it yesterday, it occurred to me that there is a vital assumption upon which the design guide is dependent.  That characteristic is Trust. Continue Reading

Did You Know This About Thermoforming?

Filed in Forming Plastics | Manufacturing | Medical Devices | Plastics | Radomes | Thermoforming Leave a comment

Koko Smart TrainerDid you realize that thermoforming is a crucial industry for many different types of companies from medical device companies to aerospace companies and more?  Here’s why.

Thermoformers produce plastic products that are either created through thin-gauge or thick-gauge thermoforming.  Thermoforming is a process that essentially uses a sheet of heated plastic which then becomes pliable and can be placed in a mold, trimmed, and cooled.   Continue Reading

Why Designers Love Thermoforming

Filed in Forming Plastics | Manufacturing | Thermoforming Leave a comment

thermoformingThe process of molding and manufacturing plastic products through thermoforming allows for quite a few advantages over other possible techniques for shaping plastic parts. This form of producing plastics entails advantages that those working at all stages of the production process can appreciate, but in particular designers love thermoforming thanks to the flexibility, speed, and cost-effectiveness of the process.

In thermoforming, heat is used to render a sheet of plastic more pliable so that it can be placed into a mold and acquire a desired form. The process is typically discussed in comparison to injection molding, another possible method of molding plastic parts that involves injecting molten plastic into a mold. Both techniques for molding plastics became prominent manufacturing processes throughout the course of the 20th century as plastic products became increasingly ubiquitous. Yet thermoforming has made particularly notable advancements in recent years thanks to the attention it has received from its frequent application to new engineering technologies. Continue Reading

A Thermoforming Budgetary Quote?

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We often receive requests for a budgetary quote.  On the surface it would appear that the client might be asking for a quote that fits within their budget.  So, it would be tempting to jestingly reply, “Be glad to give you one, what is your budget?” Continue Reading

Heavy Gauge Thermoforming? Thin Gauge? Learn Which to Choose

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questionThermoforming has been an excellent invention since it was first used in the 1940s. Not only does it save time and energy, but, one could argue, that it has helped the environment because the plastics that are used in thermoforming are recyclable. When determining if thermoforming is right for a project you must first understand the differences between heavy gauge thermoforming and thin gauge thermoforming. 

Thermoforming itself is quite basic: heat a plastic to where it is most malleable, put it over or into a mold and then use a press or vacuum to form the malleable plastic to the mold. With thin gauge thermoforming, this is most often the case. A huge roll of thin gauge plastic or inline extrusion is heated in an oven and molded appropriately to the manufacturers specifications. Continue Reading

How Do You Know The Right Plastic To Use

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Plastic To the untrained eye, plastic is plastic. As an industry professional, however, you’re well aware that there are tens of thousands of plastic variations. With so many options available, do you feel confident that you’re selecting the right materials for your projects? To eliminate doubt, it’s a good idea to incorporate the UL IDES Prospector tool into your plastic part design consideration. Here’s a breakdown of what the Prospector tool is, and how you can use it to benefit your business.  Continue Reading

Thermoforming… Get to Market Fast

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speedWhen it comes to getting your product to market in as expeditious a manner as possible, thermoforming is far superior to other plastic manufacturing methods. In general, thermoforming is quicker to implement, more efficient in terms of materials and yields a significantly more affordable end-product.  On a more specific level thermoforming provides the following benefits:

Shorter Lead Times
Thermoforming molds are far easier to manufacture than ones for injection molding process as the latter are required to be far more robust to handle the pressures associated with the process. Thus, lead times on producing a cast or machined aluminum molds or even composite ones is significantly shortened even for thick gauge applications. Continue Reading

Is Thermoforming and Vacuum Forming All About Price?

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lowest price promise

Think about this.  You are a buyer of custom made plastic thermoformed parts for your company.  Company A presents a quote for the tooling that is 30% lower than Company B and 40% lower for the parts that will be made from the tool?  What’s up here?

As a buyer you are cofronted with these questions in your mind:  

  • Is Company A actually that much more efficient than Company B? Company B has been in business for over 40 years and certainly knows how to thermoform their parts cost efficiently for their customers.
  • Is Company A giving a ridculously low price just to win my business so that once they start producing parts for a while, they will raise my price because they know that we have paid for the tooling and will not want to have to pull it to give to someone else.
  • Or is Company B trying to maximize their profit just because they feel they can gouge us?
  • Is Company B hoping we will negotiate with them when I tell them another company is 30-40 lower in price than them?  Should I try to see if they can do better?  After all, it doesn’t hurt to ask, does it?
  • Or maybe I can just eliminate all of this and accept Company A’s low price to avoid all the hassle of negotiating.
Buyers are confronted with decisions like this every day.  It’s a cat and mouse game that no one really likes but engages in anyway.
So, here are some valid points for buyers to think about:
  • Its not all about price.  It is about the expectations you have that makes any price worthwhile.
  • In manufacturing today the really important criteria that the price must reflect are Design, Speed to Market, Engineering Support and Location of the Thermoforming Company, and Customer Support.
  • Its not about Quality because if a Thermoforming Company produces poor quality they will not receive repeat business.  Period.  Quality is Expected.
To determine if you are making a good decision about any price quoted, you must test these criteria.  Ask yourself:  
  • Did the company quote this part based only on review of the files?  
  • Did they make suggestions to me about how to design the part to make production of the part more efficient?  
  • Do they have the engineering support my engineers need to really make this project a success.  
  • Will it be easy for them to visit us quickly when we need them.  
  • How quickly can the get this part to us so that we can quickly get to market?

If the thermoforming company you want to work with can assure satisfy these questions, you can now take the price into consideration. 

By answering these questions to your satisfaction, you can make a valid business case as to why you have chosen the lowest price or the higher price.  

Remember these words by John Ruskin… “There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man’s lawful prey.” 


Thermoforming Sales Success… And Now a Word About Sales in 2020

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Today’s “new normal” sales landscape has sales leaders scratching their heads, wondering about the best way to structure their sales organizations. Should they keep their expensive sales duo: inside sales AND field sales? Or just go with inside sales? Good question. Step into my time machine. When you step out in the year 2020, and the landscape may look quite different.

Ten Reasons Why Field Sales Teams Are Becoming Obsolete

The following trends indicate that field sales teams are becoming extinct. Here’s why:

  1. Inside sales teams continue to grow at 15% each year. The hybrid salesperson will emerge, and they will be technically, culturally, socially, and skillfully diverse and astute.
  2. The average cost of an outside B2B sales call is $215-$400 per call. An inside call, on the other hand, averages only $25-$75.
  3. It is expected that 85% of buyer-seller interactions will happen online through social media and video. Customers will not need a field salesperson to come on-site for a long lunch followed by a golf game.
  4. Today, we have 20 million salespeople. But that number is predicted to be reduced to 8 million by the year 2020. Why? Mainly because the customer won’t need to engage early in the sales cycle: 57% of the buying process is completed before connecting with a salesperson.
  5. Structuring a global workforce and creating geographic territories will be a thing of the past because today’s salespeople work virtually, socially, and inter-culturally. The increased sophistication of translation software will enable computers to quickly translate languages, reducing the need to hire reps who speak the native language.
  6. Virtual interactions will replace face-to-face field visits. Right now, Skype, web conferencing, and video are quickly catching on over face-to-face visits and traditional meetings. Some futurists predict the emergence of reality technology — we can watch 3-D holographic images of one another while simultaneously viewing documents on our desktops and laptops (or whatever replaces them!).
  7. Scheduling an on-site meeting with the committee of decision-makers will be almost impossible — especially because the committee of decision-makers now has up to 21 people in it, and most of them telecommute. As many as 100 million people are expected to telecommute to work by the year 2013. They will be calling from home or another wired office.
  8. A whopping 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 list in 2000 were no longer even on that list as of 2010. The first areas to go are field sales teams.
  9. Today’s automated/voice recognition technology will increase the verbal commands and recognition that will replace the human voice.
  10. Your most important customers (you know — the named accounts that the field usually manages?) won’t be so important in 2020. If your US business isn’t clued into the needs of emerging markets, China (not the US) will be the largest economy.

Posted on socialmediatoday on July 20, 2012 by Josiane Feigon

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