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Frequently Asked Questions: Custom Thermoforming

Precise, innovative manufacturing for every industry.

Thermoforming is one of the most well-known manufacturing capabilities for a good reason – it’s ideal for a wide range of projects spanning several unique industries and needs.

Our team works with clients from design and material selection through to production and labeling to guarantee your project is cost-effective, precise, and high-quality.

Below, we’re answering the most frequent questions our team gets asked about thermoforming.

What is thermoforming?

Thermoforming is a manufacturing capability used for a wide range of essential projects across several different industries. Our team offers both thin gauge and thick gauge thermoforming, putting our decades of experience to use while bringing your custom products to life.

The process begins by heating a thermoplastic sheet until it is malleable, stretching that sheet into or over a single-sided custom mold, and then holding that position as it cools and solidifies into the desired shape.

Then, the sheet is clamped into a custom holding device and heated by an oven using either convection or radiant heat until softened.

Finally, the sheet is held over a mold and pressed into or stretched over the mold using vacuum pressure, air pressure, or mechanical force. The sheet, once softened, conforms to the shape of the mold and is held in place until it cools, and any excess material is removed.

What industries use thermoforming capabilities?

We provide custom thermoforming for several unique industries, including:

  • Medical
  • Athletics
  • Automotive
  • Electronic
  • Heavy equipment
  • Manufacturing
  • And more

What can you make with thermoforming?

Every project we take on is custom, so regardless of your needs, we’ll assess the project and determine how we can help.

Most commonly, our team uses our custom thermoforming capabilities to create:

  • Blister packaging
  • Covers
  • Clamshells
  • Automation trays
  • Enclosures
  • Inserts
  • Protective cases
  • Industrial process tray
  • Automotive component packaging
  • Electronics packaging

What are the benefits of thermoforming?

One of the key questions we get asked is why thermoforming is so commonly used across multiple industries. Two of the primary benefits are short lead times (meaning you get your product quicker, without sacrificing quality) and low tooling costs (which means you’ll spend less while still getting a high-quality product).

Quicker production time includes fast prototype development, allowing for any necessary tweaks to be made before your product goes into production.

Other major benefits include:

  • The ability for you to provide extensive design input
  • A large quantity of colored and paintable plastics to customize your product
  • Several unique finish options, including multiple patterns and textures

How do I know what material to use?

Our team of experts is here to assist you with every part of the process, including offering guidance for material selection. Many projects have unique requirements, so we’ll help you understand the best material for desired properties such as:

  • Biocompatibility
  • Anti-static
  • Fire-retardancy
  • Impact
  • Abrasion resistance
  • And more

What materials are used for custom thermoforming?

When you work with Janco, you benefit from our long-standing foam and plastic partnerships that offer a distinct advantage when it comes to sourcing, supplying, and meeting your high-volume, mid-volume, or low-volume needs, with competitive pricing at every level.

We work with a wide range of materials, including:

  • PET, PETG, PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
  • HIPS (high impact polystyrene)
  • Acrylic
  • PVC (polyvinyl chloride)
  • Kydex®, a trademarked acrylic/PVC alloy
  • ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene)
  • PC (polycarbonate)
  • PP (polypropylene)
  • PS (polystyrene)
  • HDPE (high-density polyethylene)
  • TPU (thermoplastic polyurethanes)
  • TPO Foams (thermoplastic olefins)
  • And others, depending on your application

What are your thermoforming capabilities?

Janco’s Core Thermoforming Capabilities

  • Bed size: 29″x 32″ gauge range of .007″ to .060″
  • Thermoforming and Fabrication Cleanrooms certified to ISO 14644-1 Class 8
  • Fully-automated inline thermoforming machines

Heavy Gauge Pressure-Thermoforming

  • Bed size 48″ x 72″, Gauge range of .006″ to .500″ with 24″ depth of draw
  • In-house design assistance, prototype, REN, and production tooling
  • ISO 13485 Certification, FDA Registered
  • Thermoforming and Fabrication Cleanrooms certified to ISO 14644-1 Class 8

Custom Thermoforming with Janco

Turn to a team you can trust for the solutions you need.

Our team prides itself on offering value-add services that ensure your products offer the highest return on investment. We work hard to bring your visions to life with custom designs, innovative technology, and high-quality materials – all at an unbeatable cost.

For about six decades, we’ve worked on custom jobs for clients who know that they can trust us for all of their thermoforming needs.

Have a project in mind or want to learn more about our custom thermoforming process? Get in touch with us!

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