Teaming for Innovation

When developing solutions, manufacturers should team with their thermoformer on technologies and best practices to meet cost, time, and performance criteria. Here are some key points for collaboration:

  • Engineering: The thermoformer should analyze your product’s function, brand attributes, user perceptions, and strategic plan to develop a list of parameters.
  • Budget: Be sure to share with your thermoformer your budget and other financial considerations that can impact production decisions.
  • Packaging: The thermoforming company should have access to critical information about the product’s protection needs and packaging process.
  • Timing: Speed to market can be essential so make sure you reach an agreed-upon timeline with your thermoformer since the timeline often affects design choices.
  • Concepts: The thermoformer you choose should work collaboratively with stakeholders on design concepts, soliciting feedback to implement into the final solution.

By teaming with your thermoformer on the design process, you’ll realize a final product that furthers your company and brand in today’s tight market.

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To learn about how we can collaborate for product success, please connect with me on LinkedIn or visit our website at tru-formplastics.com/.

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Please contact us at our Southern California headquarters today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your needs. 

Pack and Ship: Thermoforming Doesn’t End with Forming

Depending on the thermoformer, a company can gain access to much more than just design and production capabilities. Some thermoforming manufacturers offer a complete array of secondary services for one-stop-shop convenience, such as custom packing and shipping, all under one roof.

If you’re looking for a thermoforming partner, here are some things to ask about their distribution capabilities:

  • Inspection: Once the product is ready to go out the door, ask if your thermoformer conducts a complete inspection of the product beforehand.
  • Customized Packaging: Check to see if the thermoformer provides customized packaging to prevent damage to your finished parts.
  • Direct Shipping: If you want your products to go straight to the end user, see if your thermoforming partner will ship directly.
  • Global Reach: Depending on where you need your parts to go, you may want to find out if your thermoformer can ship globally and understands any requirements for doing so.

Please contact us at our Southern California headquarters today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your needs.

The Role of QA in Thermoforming Perfection

A thermoformer’s engineering team can provide a range of advice and technical support to create solutions that meet your needs and those of the marketplace. One of the most important stages where the engineering team’s involvement can be vital is quality assurance.

With their guidance, some activities a QA team can conduct to promote uniform dimensional accuracy, structural integrity, and cosmetic consistency throughout all in-process and finished parts and assemblies include:

  • Documentation: A skilled and experienced QA department should fully review, monitor, and document pre-defined quality requirements throughout the thermoforming process.
  • Measurement: The quality assurance department should have at its disposal a full range of measurement equipment, including FARO Arm, color measurement, digital calipers, tint meters and more state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Inspections: A quality assurance department should be leveraged to provide in-process and final inspections to customers for ease of mind.

As you investigate thermoformers, ask about their engineering capabilities in quality assurance, their commitment to total quality management, and how they address any non-conformance.

Please contact us at our Southern California headquarters today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your needs.

A Medley of Molds

A successful part starts with a good tool. There are many different tool designs and material selections available for various applications. Here are some of the most common tool types thermoformers utilize.

  • Composite Molds: Depending on the length of the production run, and especially for prototyping, an engineered composite mold may be a good choice because it’s less expensive and quick.
  • Wood: Molds can be made of wood or a combination of wood and other materials. With this option, tooling can be more cost effective. However, wood tools can also be less durable and accurate.
  • Machined Aluminum Molds: Molds machined from aluminum are not only more stable and consistent choices, but also able to hold tight tolerances. That makes them good for detailed parts.
  • Cast Aluminum Molds: While still made of aluminum, this type of tool is often less expensive than their machined counterparts. But it’s somewhat limited in its application for textured parts.

With the variety of tooling available, it’s important to work with your thermoformer to find the best option for your needs.

Please contact us at our Southern California headquarters today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your needs.

Make Sharp Corners into Strong Corners

The shape of parts varies widely depending on the application, and often include corners. And while you may think you need to avoid sharp corners to prevent weakness, thermoforming techniques exist to address this concern so your final part turns out perfect.

Since designers often use sharp corners for their aesthetics, several approaches can be employed to make them stronger, including:

  • Material: Certain materials like PVC can handle sharper corners than materials like polyethylene and polycarbonate.
  • Process: Pressure forming allows you to make tighter corners than vacuum forming, so it tends to be the process of choice for greater definition.
  • Chamfers: Using a chamfer can turn a sharp corner into several less-tight corners to prevent material thinning.
  • Radii: Another way to avoid a sharp three-sided corner is by using a radius so the material doesn’t have to extend as deeply into the corner.

When designers seek sharp corners, don’t worry. Instead, consider the options thermoforming presents for producing a strong part.

Please contact us at our Southern California headquarters today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your needs. 

The Best Tool Material? Aluminum

Producing a successful part with thermoforming starts with the construction of an excellent tool. To kick off a tool’s design, your thermoformer should seek to understand the part’s end-use parameters. In addition to basics like volume, other important elements to consider include environmental stressors such as chemicals, impact, and temperature, as well as the part’s relationship with mating parts.

During this investigative phase, the thermoformer will use the information shared to determine the best tooling design and material selection for the application. And more often than not, aluminum is the material of choice. Why? Here are five big benefits of an aluminum tool:

  • Durability: The nature of thermoforming combined with the longevity of aluminum can yield an unlimited number of production parts.
  • Efficiency: Aluminum tools with adequate temperature control will produce parts efficiently.
  • Consistency: With aluminum tools, you’ll realize a repeatable appearance from run to run.
  • Dimensional Stability: Aluminum tools offers much better dimensional stability and precision.
  • Cost Savings: By producing machined aluminum thermoforming tools in house, customers can see reduced costs and lead times.

Please contact us at our Southern California headquarters today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your needs. 

Tru-Form Plastics to Showcase Thermoforming Expertise at MD&M West

Full-service thermoformer will share latest medical packaging and enclosure capabilities at largest medtech event.

WESTMINSTER, Calif., December XX, 2018– World-class thermoformer Tru-Form Plastics, an InterTrade Industries Company, will highlight its advanced thermoforming capabilities at the annual MD&M West February 5-7, 2019, in Anaheim, California. At booth #1554, Tru-Form will share a selection of its custom-designed thermoformed medical packaging and enclosures as part of a complete suite of customizable services to turn clients’ visions into tangible results that range from engineering and design to full-scale production.

Tru-Form leverages state-of-the-art thermoforming equipment and a range of core competencies from an ISO 9001:2008 certified Southern California manufacturing facility, including:

  • Design expertise from a team with decades of creative experience
  • Rapid development of molds and prototypes for reduced time to market
  • Engineering and quality assurance capabilities to meet the exacting needs of the industry
  • Flexible methods for thin gauge packaging and heavy gauge assemblies
  • Competitive pricing

With all of these assets in house, Tru-Form takes a comprehensive approach to translating clients’ inspiration into an array of innovative solutions for use in a variety of medical environments, from functional sterile thin gauge plastic packaging items like trays and clamshells to sturdy, reliable medical device enclosures made of heavy gauge plastic.

“With over 100 years of combined experience serving many of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers, we offer the proven expertise to meet the dynamic needs of the medtech industry with innovative, next-gen thermoformed solutions,” said Director of Innovation John Hoffman. “We are eager to talk with attendees at MD&M West about how we can collaborate with them on packaging and enclosures to help bring their medical devices to life.”

To learn more about Tru-Form Plastics, visit Tru-FormPlastics.com, call 714.894.5566, email info@Tru-FormPlastics.com or meet them in person at booth #1554 at MD&M West.

About Tru-Form Plastics, an InterTrade Industries Company – A world-class, full-service custom thermoformer with more than 100 years of combined experience located in Southern California’s Orange County, Tru-Form’s offerings include design, rapid prototypes, production, assembly and distribution. The company is well-positioned to meet a variety of needs. The company serves a wide variety of industries including medical, aerospace and defense, architectural lighting, automotive, consumer, and OEM. To learn more, visit Tru-FormPlastics.com, call 714.894.5566 or email info@Tru-FormPlastics.com.

Tru-Form Plastics to Participate in World’s Largest MedTech Event Showcasing Thermoforming Expertise at MD&M West

Custom thermoformer will showcase medical packaging and enclosure innovation at MD&M West.

WESTMINSTER, Calif., January 25, 2019– Full-service custom thermoformer Tru-Form Plastics, an InterTrade Industries Company, is bringing its innovative medical packaging and enclosures to MD&M West February 5-7, 2019, in Anaheim, California. Exhibiting at booth #1554, Tru-Form Plastics will display a selection of its custom-designed heavy and thin gauge thermoforming solutions and share how its creativity, flexible methods, and collaborative approach are central to delivering solutions that fit the unique needs of the medtech industry.

Headquartered in Southern California, Tru-Form Plastics’ manufacturing facility offers extensive design, production, assembly, and distribution services. To produce precise medical product packaging and enclosures, it leverages its core capabilities, including:

  • A design process that starts with a full engineering review
  • Technical support to take a customer’s design request from concept to completion
  • Mold, fixture, and tool building, the start of any successful product
  • Machining, trimming, and finishing to produce the most delicate and complicated products
  • An experienced QA department for accuracy and consistency

With these comprehensive capabilities in house, Tru-Form Plastics is well-positioned to exceed customers’ expectations for innovative, reliable, and functional solutions, including thin gauge plastic packaging items like trays and clamshells as well as medical device enclosures made of heavy gauge plastic.

“MD&M West showcases the latest manufacturing solutions for medtech professionals, and we’re pleased to take part again this year,” said Director of Innovation John Hoffman. “With a host of cutting-edge yet practical applications on display, we hope to inspire attendees as they set out to discover new ideas – and address new challenges – so they can leapfrog their performance in 2019.”

To learn more about Tru-Form Plastics, visit Tru-FormPlastics.com, call 714.894.5566, email info@Tru-FormPlastics.com or meet them in person at booth #1554 at MD&M West.

About Tru-Form Plastics, an InterTrade Industries Company – A world-class, full-service custom thermoformer with more than 100 years of combined experience located in Southern California’s Orange County, Tru-Form Plastics’ offerings include design, rapid prototypes, production, assembly and distribution. The company is well-positioned to meet a variety of needs. The company serves a wide variety of industries including medical, aerospace and defense, architectural lighting, automotive, consumer, and OEM. To learn more, visit Tru-FormPlastics.com, call 714.894.5566 or email info@Tru-FormPlastics.com.

Flexibility First with Thermoforming

Thermoforming offers many benefits over other types of molding. And one of the most significant benefit is the flexibility it delivers. With thermoforming, manufacturers have a variety of options both pre-production and post to achieve their desired outcome, including:

  • Design: Your thermoforming vendor’s engineering and design teams can assess all the variables and requirements involved, develop design schematics, and create drafts to formulate the exact components needed to take your idea to execution.
  • Material Selection: A wide variety of materials can be used in thermoforming depending on the part being produced. Each different plastic has its own unique properties and benefits so your thermoformer will work with you to match the best material for your application.
  • Color and Texture: Depending on the look you want to achieve, thermoforming can produce parts to your exact specifications through the use of colored plastic material, silk screening, paint, and in-molded textures.
  • Finish: Your cosmetic requirements may also mean you need a certain finish. Fortunately, with thermofoming, you can achieve high-gloss, semi-gloss, and even metallic touches as an integral part of the manufacturing process.
  • Product Changes: Once complete, it’s easy to make changes to your design with thermoforming without big upfront costs so you can feel confident about making improvements.

The variety of options thermoforming offers yields advantages other processes can’t compete with, making it an ideal approach for any application.

If you’re interested in thermoforming for your next project, find out about the vast range of possibilities it offers. Please connect with me on LinkedIn or visit our website at www.Tru-FormPlastics.com.

Please contact us today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your specific needs.

Who Needs EMI Shielding?

EMI, also known as electromagnetic interference, is a disturbance in the operation of electronic devices caused by external sources that affect the electrical circuit. One approach to prevent this interference is the use of an EMI shield, a protective enclosure placed around devices to block signals.

Thermoforming can make the use of protective plastic shields simple through integration during the production process. When thermoforming, shields can be applied to the plastic sheet before forming to protect sensitive components by:

  • Sprays
  • Paints
  • Brush-on coatings

These protective films often contain metals like nickel or copper to deflect interference. As EMI is now regulated throughout the globe, use of these materials requires compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (among other local agencies), so look for a thermoforming partner that is fully certified by UL on the substances.

If you’re interested in nickel and copper shielding for your project, find out more about our experience and expertise in EMI shielding. Please connect with me on LinkedIn or visit our website at www.Tru-FormPlastics.com.

Please contact us today at 714-894-5566 or info@Tru-FormPlastics.com to learn more about our manufacturing solutions and how they can meet your specific needs.