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The next generation of family leadership and ownership begins at Productive Plastics

Evan Gilham Named President of Productive Plastics

Productive Plastics has embarked on a transition of leadership to the 3rd generation of Gilham family ownership as Evan Gilham assumed his new role as President in September of this year.

Hal Gilham, former President and now CEO, announced this evolution and continued legacy of ownership at the SPE Thermoforming Conference in September after accepting the Thermoformer of the Year award for 2021 by the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) Thermoforming Division.

This marks the beginning of an incremental and smooth transfer of leadership and ownership of the company over the next 12-18 months. Evan Gilham comments, “During this transition, we are focused on maintaining trusted partnerships with our customers.” Evan adds, “We are committed to a future of continued innovation and expanded manufacturing services.”

The team at Productive Plastics hopes you will join us in congratulating Evan on his new role and wishing Hal good luck in his future endeavors.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Left to right – Evan Gilham (President) and Hal Gilham (CEO)

[Join our Free Technical Webinar] Introduction to TPO and its Advantages

Please join a complimentary webinar on OCT 27th @ 11am hosted by SIMONA PMC and Productive Plastics on the technical and cost advantages of TPO over metal and fiberglass for your applications. Explore the wide range of TPO grades available for performance or aesthetics, comparisons, case studies, details on designing for plastic thermoforming, and more!

What to Expect in this Webinar:

  • Introduction to TPO
  • Overview of the different grades of TPO, where each is used and why
  • Guidance for converting to TPO from fiberglass, gelcoat or metal
  • Advantages of using TPO in high heat applications
  • Application case studies
  • Cost comparisons
  • Material performance data 
  • Plastic thermoforming design and technical considerations
  • Moderated Q&A session
  • Complimentary Plastic Thermoforming Design Guide & Metal to Plastic Thermoforming Comparison and Conversion Guide digital downloads

Productive Plastics Exhibiting at Design-2-Part Uncasville CT June 23 & 24

Productive Plastics is excited to be exhibiting again at Design-2-Part this year. If you or any of your team will be attending the Design-2-Part show in Uncasville CT on June 23 & 24, please stop by our booths (314 & 316). Talk plastic thermoforming with our experts and get hands on with a selection of our thermoformed parts and multi-part assembly samples from solutions provided to medical device, kiosk, material handling, and other industries. Our team will be at your disposal to discuss how Productive Plastics and plastic thermoforming can add to the success of your next project.

Visit us at Booths 314 & 316

  • Advantages of heavy gauge plastic thermoforming
  • Thermoplastic material options and performance
  • Design and tooling capabilities
  • Conversions from metal, fiberglass, or injection molding processes
  • Industry applications and standards compliance
  • Assembly and surface finishing value added operations

We hope to see you at the show!

Registration for the event is free

Use your mouse to rotate and interact with feature callouts on the plastic thermoformed kiosk fascia below

Join our Free Technical Webinar – Replacing Metal with Thermoformed Plastics

Join us on May 12th at 2pm and our Chief Operations Officer, Evan Gilham, will teach you the ins and outs of the plastic thermoforming process and how it compares to steel and sheet metal fabricated designs.

Gain the technical knowledge to accurately evaluate if your sheet metal design is a prime candidate for plastic thermoforming.

Discover if converting to a plastic thermoforming design would reduce costs, increase material performance, or present enhanced design capabilities for your application.

Evan will cover some key topics and comparisons between the two processes:

  • Cost comparisons
  • Design capabilities
  • Material performance
  • Pro tips on how to maximize your design for thermoforming
  • Sheet metal to plastic thermoforminng conversion case study
  • Moderated Q&A session
  • Technical thermoforming guides available for download post

Introducing the New productiveplastics.com

The newly improved website features new graphics and images, a wider desktop browser experience, better mobile viewing, and improved usability. Changes include interactive thermoformed plastic part images, updated and expanded plastic thermoforming content, industry specific thermoforming pages, and technical information.

The new website continues to feature the Productive Ideas blog with its ongoing commentary on thermoforming technology issues. Four technical guides are also available to download:

  • Heavy Gauge Plastic Thermoforming Process and Design Guide
  • Fiberglass to Plastic Thermoforming Comparison and Conversion Guide
  • Metal to Plastic Thermoforming Comparison and Conversion Guide
  • Injection Molding to Plastic Thermoforming Comparison and Conversion Guide

5 Questions to ask your manufacturer to understand if they can repeatably produce high quality parts.

The heavy gauge plastic thermoforming is an agile process capable of producing highly detailed, durable, and tight tolerance parts with almost limitless design possibilities. It provides a cost effective and fast to market solution for a number of applications such as Medical Devices and Rail and Aircraft Interiors. To take advantage of thermoforming, you need to leverage a team with the technical expertise and focus on execution and quality to ensure that you receive a high-quality product every time.

Not every plastic thermoforming processor is equally capable. Issues could arise from poorly designed tooling or poor tooling mediums, lack of processing controls, lack of quality controls, or no repeatable work instructions. Have you ever eaten at a restaurant where the food quality depends on the chef working? You want to ensure you receive the same high-quality product every time.

1. Does the manufacturer have an accredited quality control program?

ISO9001-2015-Certification-Productive Plastics

Ensuring that your manufacturer has adopted an accredited quality control program, such as ISO 9001, will indicate that the company has an active quality control process in place that has been evaluated and certified by an industry recognized third party. The accreditation documentation, often available on the manufacturer’s website, will give you detailed information on what aspects of the company have been certified and supporting quality documentation can often be requested from the processor.

2. Is the manufacturer’s facility organized and clean?

This may seem like a trivial point, but it can be a key indicator to a company’s commitment to quality. A company with a well-organized manufacturing floor is much more likely to take quality, efficiency, process improvement, and safety seriously. If you are not offered a tour of the facility, ask for and witness firsthand the quality control measures in action. Cleanliness and organization are vital since thermoforming is an “open mold process” meaning airborne dirt could end up as an inclusion in the finished part and become a cosmetic flaw.

3. Does the contract manufacturer utilize efficient manufacturing methodologies and conduct process improvement events, such as Lean Manufacturing and Kaizen events?

Lean Manufacturing focuses on the removal of inefficient practices in manufacturing, management, and administration operations, with regular evaluations of current processes with emphasis on continual improvement. Companies that are committed to following Lean Manufacturing techniques tend to have very efficient manufacturing operations, greater investments in equipment, and produce quality parts with a low rejection rate. This will lead to lower part costs from labor as well as a higher on-time delivery percentage.

4. Does the thermoforming partner have dedicated engineering experts to provide tooling design and construction project management?

Properly designed and constructed tooling is the foundation of plastic thermoforming and is essential to producing a high-quality consistent product. Poorly engineered tooling can result in part dimension variations, surface abnormalities, and other defects. See 6 Common Thermoforming Quality Issues Actually Caused by Improper Tooling. Tooling is also a byproduct of part design and leveraging experts can help avoid downstream issues.

5. Does the processor conduct a “Define and Discover” Innovation Engineering approach to seek avenues for collaborative project development and management?

Collaborating early on helps to ensure that the appropriate decision is being made and executed. We for example: start with the question, is this a good application for thermoforming? Sometimes we find ourselves recommending other processes, as your partner should be someone you can trust and leverage.

Ultimately, each project is unique. A commodity type part will likely not require the same level of quality in detail and precision as a multi-part medical device assembly. Finding a partner that can tailor a solution to your specific needs will help you to reduce costs while meeting quality requirements consistently.

At Productive Plastics, we go to great lengths to ensure quality

  • ISO 9001:2008 certified thermoformed plastics manufacturer and designer
  • Lean Manufacturing committed enterprise – Implemented 1998
  • Comprehensive Quality Management System (QMS)
    • Over 6 decades of thermoforming process and quality refinement (oven calibration and thermal environment management, ultrasonic measurement of material sag, and more)
    • Industry leading quality management procedures in every stage of the manufacturing process from design to delivery – High level of documentation, standardization, and tracability.
  • Tooling and Design
    • Dedicated part and tooling engineering team managing supplier performance and tooling construction. Design reviews to ensure expectations are met.
  • Investment in Technology
    • Continual investment in technology, such as the newest sensors, to ensure repeatability.

Have more questions about the role of quality manufacturing for your parts and components? Interested in exploring plastic thermoforming solutions for your OEM product?

Please contact us.

Please contact Productive Plastics for more information on the thermoforming process

Looking for more technical information?

Download the Thermoforming Design Guide, Process Comparisons, Conversion Guides, and other useful thermoforming information from our technical resource library.

Contact Us

Ready to explore how Productive Plastics can add to the success of your project?