Thermoformed Plastics Solutions Blog

The Spectrum of Thermoformed Parts in Construction

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Sep 24, 2014 1:59:00 PM


In the past few years, there have been numerous technological advancements in the world of plastics. Improvements in strength, weight and resistance to harsh environments have influenced many manufacturers and assemblers to replace traditional metal products with plastics. New elastomers coming to market can perform just as well as metals for longer durations and with less cost and drastic reductions in weight.

Thermoforming-ServicesThermoformed structural and decorative components are now available for the transportation, construction, agriculture and other manufacturing industries. Construction and Transportation are two of the largest sectors benefitting from the advancements of plastics.

Products in these sectors range from interior trim pieces and exterior panels, as well as well as structural composites.  Materials utilized can be optimized for durability, appearance, and uniformity providing alternatives to heavy sheet metal and injection-molded parts.

In construction and transportation, thermoformed plastics are used more specifically for the following types of products:

  • Complex Hood Assemblies
  • Durable Fenders & Guards & Roofs
  • Stylish Cab Interiors
  • Seating Components
  • Rail and Bus Interior Systems
  • Rail Exteriors such as End Caps/Skirts
  • Hood Assemblies
  • Engine Covers

Plastics have taken the place of metal as the material of choice for much of a vehicle’s body and components. By making careful selections as to the type of plastic, manufacturing processes and additives, there are noticeable advantages to choosing plastics over metal.

  • Improved impact resistance: Stronger and more rigid plastics lead to direct reductions in maintenance cost.
  • For transportation and construction, weight reduction equals better fuel and transportation economies. As the cost of fuel and transportation has continued to increase, this expense has become one of the main concerns to suppliers and customers.
  • Plastics are more dependable within harsh environments. Plastics do not rust and their overall fabrication can be reformulated for better heat resistance or UV protection. These days, plastic formulas can be altered to maintain their original appearance much longer than metals.
  • With colors mixed throughout the product, they camouflage scratches better and maintain their overall appearance longer than metal. The color can be integral to the material and is not a postproduction layer to protect the metal from the environment. 
  • In addition, plastic formulas can now be optimized to prevent degradation due to heat or UV exposure. They are now even used as shields to protect other products from the destructive high-energy heat and UV rays.

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Topics: thermoplastics, thermoforming

Contract Manufacturing: 3 Reasons a “Job Shop” Isn’t Enough

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Jul 31, 2014 1:19:00 PM

We all know that “you get what you pay for,” but there are other reasons to look at how value affects the bottom line in any supply chain. In selecting a supply partner, here are some items for consideration.

1. “Can your candidate support your supply-chain needs? In reference to a new product launch, second tier component supply management, and downstream design/doc control.”

2. The next question is: “Does your candidate offer the value-added services your product requires?”

Not all candidates can match the range of services that you may need from a high-quality contract manufacturer, which gives you enormous flexibility and reliability in producing and delivering your orders. Here are some of the services you should come to expect from a full-service supplier:

  • Assembly
  • Custom Painting
  • Logistics
  • Material Systems
  • Packaging
  • Adhesive Bonding

An all-in-one solution with management and supply-chain support, like McClarin support, is not typical in the marketplace.

3. “Is their expertise matched to the unique nature of your business?”

At McClarin, Value-Added Manufacturing is the hallmark of our success. We specialize in matching the unique requirements of each order from each customer in the most specific way possible. What sets our capabilities apart from even the most-sophisticated job shop lies in the extensive resources we can bring to bear on your project’s needs.

In terms of quality, we offer ISO 9001-certified manufacturing services bolstered by our own Quality Manual-regulated production values. With Certified Composite Technicians (CCTs) and a CCT Instructor on staff, Six Sigma Black Belt and Green Belt training, and a comprehensive program management system, we provide continuous improvement in results for all of our customers. Moreover, our state-of-the-art facilities and equipment are second to none in delivering the manufacturing expertise required to meet the most demanding orders.

So the next time you hear someone say that one of your components can be produced for a lot less by a job shop he or she knows about, ask yourself whether that’s really going to be good enough for your company’s bottom line. Then pick up the phone and talk to a premier contract manufacturer. 

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Topics: Contract Manufacturer, thermoplastics, manufacturing

3 Substantial Benefits of Thermoplastics and the Thermoforming Process

Posted by Jeffrey Geiman on Apr 3, 2014 1:47:00 PM


Despite their prevalence in society, many people don’t know much about thermoplastics and the thermoforming process. From the moment you were born to the first time you turned the key in a car, thermoplastics have impacted your life in some form or another. Here are a few things you may not have realized about thermoplastics and the processes that go into manufacturing with them.

On a Larger Scale

Thermoforming-ServicesThermoformed Plastics are ideal for over-sized applications because they can be molded into large, continuous and smooth shapes with relative ease. Thermoformed Plastics are at times used to replace metal in existing applications and are often chosen over injection molded parts where change flexibility, and high tooling costs are a concern.

To see the scale of what can be manufactured through thermoforming, take a closer look at some of our past projects and the applications for which we provide contract manufacturing services for our customers.

Thermoplastics in Your Life

Thermoforming is a versatile process that can be used to manufacture a number of products, from hospital trays and food containers, to large scale projects such as the ones McClarin works on for our clients. These large scale applications include manufacturing of panels and hoods for heavy trucks, buses, and construction equipment, as well as products for the agricultural, aerospace, defense, machinery, and building products industries.

Metal Conversions in Modern Manufacturing

Metal is incredibly durable, but it has a number of potential pitfalls as well. It’s heavy, it’s often expensive, and it’s prone to corrosion like rust. That’s why thermoforming has been such an effective solution for so many industries modernizing and streamlining their processes. Metal to plastic conversions for pipe fittings, shipping containers, machine covers, doors, and panels are prevalent in a number of industries.

Advantages of Using Thermoforming in Manufacturing

Thermoforming or vacuum forming is a lower cost alternative for molded products. Tooling costs are much less when compared to higher volume, matched mold processes. Additionally, since the “net shape” is usually trimmed from the part, there is design flexibility for easily changing trim or adding holes and cutouts.

Illustrating some of the more impressive things that can be done with thermoplastics, McClarin Plastics offers a range of thermoforming and vacuum forming services to craft large scale components for the medical, agricultural, transportation, and construction industries. Read more about thermoformin and the material selection process in our eBook:

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Topics: thermoplastics, thermoforming