As the word “thermoform” might suggest, thermoform molding is a process by which heat is used to help form and mold various types of packaging and products. At Indepak, we have been providing thermoform molding services since 1967, and here’s a quick look at our process.
Obviously, it all begins with a customer and an idea. Each customer discusses their packaging needs with our design team which then gets to work on formulating a design and creating a prototype. Once this prototype has been approved, we get to move on to the production process, where the fun really begins.
During the design process, we create highly intricate molds of your packaging and these are what will be used to form your package. After molds have been created and our thermoforming equipment has been set for your project specifications, we will feed thin sheets of thermoform plastic into these machines. Our equipment can thermoform rigid materials from .008 inches to .080 inches and foam materials from 1/6 inches to ¼ inches.
Once sheets are fed into the thermoform molding equipment, they are heated to a specific temperature. The temperature we use depends upon the material being fed into the machine as different types of thermoform plastic require different levels of heat in order to reach a point of malleability. Once that temperature is reached, the plastic materials can be molded. Typically, either vacuum forming is used or pressure forming. Vacuum forming, as the name suggests uses the force of vacuum to remove the air between the plastic sheet and the mold. With pressure forming, you use the force of vacuum as well as applying extra force to “push” the plastic into the molds.
Vacuum forming is an excellent option if your package design is fairly simple and straightforward and quite cost-effective, especially for smaller production runs. Pressure forming is an option more suitable for more complex designs and larger production runs. We will come up with an option that fits your packaging needs, as well as your budget. Once the package or product has been formed, the plastic is cooled and any excess packaging is trimmed away. This excess plastic will be used for future projects, and it is always our goal at Indepak to recycle and reuse whatever we can.
What We Can Create
Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed thermoform equipment allowing us to create packaging and products for a myriad of unique clients. We can design all sizes and shapes of blister packaging, including trap blisters, full card blisters and face seal blisters. We also can design all types of clamshell packaging, including tri-fold clamshells, which can be hung from pegs or can stand on shelves, providing you with ultimate flexibility. Additionally, we can provide you with any type of thermoform tray you might need as well as providing combination designs that incorporate plastic materials along with foil, paperboard and pulp. Our equipment can handle a wide range of materials, including some starch-based biomaterials, and virtually all of the materials we use at Indepak are recyclable.
Why Choose Thermoform Molding?
Thermoform molding is one of the most inexpensive options for custom packaging. Not only are the materials we use inexpensive, they also are highly protective and very lightweight. Thermoform plastics can protect your product from moisture, tampering and are quite impact resistant. Their light weight benefits the consumer as well as helping to reduce your shipping costs.
If you need custom plastic packaging, the team at Indepak has been using thermoform molding to create packaging for 50 years. Give us a call today and we will get started on your unique packaging project.