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Product Development Process and Services

Productive Plastics is more than just a plastic thermoforming manufacturer. We strive to be a trusted advisor throughout the entire product development process from prototype design through the final delivery of your thermoformed components or assembly. Our highly skilled engineers, manufacturing technicians, and support staff will work with your team to develop the right design, material, and process for your industry and needs. Maximizing the advantages of plastic thermoforming and minimizing the cost and production time for your product. Let us put our 65+ years of plastic thermoforming manufacturing, design, and development expertise to work for your project.

Plastic Thermoforming Design and Product Development Process

1. Design for Thermoforming
Productive Plastics has a team of engineers and manufacturing experts that will work with you from your initial product design through completion. Incorporating thermoforming design principles into your concept or converting designs from other manufacturing process to maximize the benefits of plastic thermoforming and minimize cost and delays for your application.
2. Thermoplastic Material Selection
Thermoplastic material options are available that meet even the strictest requirements for strength, durability, impact resistance, FST, and weather resistant of industries from aviation and mass transportation to medical device and industrial equipment. Productive Plastics has decades of experience working with the top thermoplastic material suppliers, such as Kydex, Boltaron, and Spartech and will work with your team to select the specific thermoplastic material that meets the needs of your unique project.
3. Tooling Design and Construction
The mold or tooling is the foundation on which your part is formed. Proper tooling design and construction is essential to producing a repeatably high quality part. Productive Plastics will work with your unique design to create precise temperature controlled aluminum tooling to ensure that your parts are consistently of the highest quality and exact tolerances.
Temperature controlled alluminum tool for plastic thermoforming
4. Thermoforming
Here is where your part really starts to take shape. Your mold is installed and calibrated into a thermoforming machine in one of the manufacturing cells. The thermoplastic specifically selected for your application is heated to forming temperature and vacuum or pressure formed over the mold to create your part.
Plastic Thermoforming
5. Robotic or CNC Trimming
Once your part has been thermoformed and has cooled, it will likely require trimming to remove excess plastic and add design features such as louvers and other cutouts. Productive Plastics uses multi axes robotic, CNC trimming machines, and custom trim fixtures to process your part to your exact specifications.
Robotic trimming of a plastic thermoformed part
6. Attachments, Bonding, and Assembly
Once your part is formed and trimmed, Productive Plastics offers secondary operations such as installing attachments and hardware, bonding fixtures, and assembly of multi-part projects. These services reduce cost and lead time by consolidating your supply chain. Coupled with our in-house painting and finishing operation, your parts will arrive at your facility in near turnkey condition.
Medical device thermoformed enclosure with assembly attachment points
7. Finishing, Coating, and Branding
If your part requires additional finishing and branding, Productive Plastics' in-house painting operation can apply color finishes, class A gloss finishes, and complex masking and branding to your parts.
In-house painting and finishing operation at Productive Plastics

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