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Choosing the Right Plastic Thermoforming Company – Top 5 Qualifications – Part 1 – Industry Qualifications

In the world of custom plastic thermoforming, the needs of each customer, project, and process are unique. Deadlines, material requirements, cost, and quality are just a few of the variables that development teams face when choosing a plastic thermoforming manufacturer.

Just as each project is unique, each plastic thermoforming company is unique and it is essential to find one that specializes and excels in the areas that are key to your particular project’s success. Choosing the right company for the job is a vital link in your project development chain that can either streamline and strengthen it, or breakdown the process entirely.

With over 30 years in the industry, we at Productive Plastics understand the challenges that you face when shopping for a thermoforming company that will be an asset to your project rather than a liability. So, we have put together a number of qualifications and questions for you to reference then next time you are looking for a company to fill your thermoforming needs. This 5 part series will feature 5 qualifications that we feel are vitally important factors in choosing the right plastic thermoforming manufacturer.

We hope that you find this material informative and helpful in the search for your thermoforming solutions.

Qualification #1: Industry Experience

Qualifiying questions:
  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. Do you have experience in my industry?
  3. Do you have case studies or examples of products that are similar to mine?
  4. Have you been published or recognized in the industry?
When searching for the right plastic thermoforming company, it is important to zero in on a company that has experience in plastic thermoforming. An obvious point we know, however it is important in respect to the fact that you should be looking for a company that has been thermoforming plastic for at least a decade. This uncovers a few key traits about the company.
  1. They are, most likely, a stable company that will be in business for the duration of your project and hopefully long after. Think of the monumental waste of time, effort, and resources expended if the company you select closes its doors half way through the production of your product.
  2. You can reasonably assume that if the company has been thermoforming plastic for over 10 years, they have developed a high level of expertise. A company’s “about us” page on their website, in addition to external references (if you can obtain them), is usually a good starting point for gathering this information.
In addition to establishing a prospective company’s reliability and longevity, the next step is to determine if the company has experience thermoforming parts for products in or related to your specific industry.  There are pitfalls and challenges to manufacturing plastic parts for different industry applications, such as required tolerances, and environmental factors that effect and dictate the thermoforming company’s manufacturing process that must be used, tooling considerations, material selection, and many other production critical factors.  An industry experienced thermoformer will be aware of, prepared for, and capable of handling these project nuances, which will ultimately minimize costly and time consuming mistakes.
Once you have qualified a potential thermoforming company as an experienced industry manufacturer, it is helpful to obtain some supporting evidence. Most reputable companies can provide case studies or part examples that showcase their ability to produce high quality parts relevant to your application. Also, look for companies that have been recognized by the industry, whether it be through publications, awards, or other industry resources.
In our next issue, we will explore the second qualification, the value of engineering, design, and material expertise.

Productive Plastics Qualifications:

  • Productive Plastics has been in business since 1955 (learn more)
  • Productive Plastics has extensive experience thermoforming parts for these industries: Medical diagnostic, industrial, transportation, plastic enclosures, self-service kiosks (learn more)
  • Productive Plastics was recently awarded the parts competition Judges Choice and People’s Choice awards at this year’s SPE thermoforming conference and has been featured in Plastics News (industry publication)

Contact us and let Productive Plastics apply some innovation and thermoforming expertise to your next project.

Looking for more technical information?

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

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