PMC can design, make molds and produce trays to meet your exact needs
PMC has decades of expertise in designing the right thermoformed tray to meet your exact needs. PMC Medical Thermoforming is your one stop source.
We make it fast, easy and to spec. PMC can use many materials including, PETG, APET, Polycarbonate, ABS, High Impact Styrene, HDPE, we can certify material for medical, electronic and military applications.
Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a pliable forming temperature, formed to a specific shape in a mold, and trimmed to create a usable product. The sheet, or “film” when referring to thinner gauges and certain material types, is heated in an oven to a high-enough temperature that permits it to be stretched into or onto a mold and cooled to a finished shape. Its simplified version is vacuum forming.
In its simplest form, a tabletop or lab size machine can be used to heat small cut sections of plastic sheet and stretch it over a mold using vacuum. At PMC this method is often used for sample and prototype parts. In complex and high-volume applications, very large production machines are utilized to heat and form the plastic sheet and trim the formed parts from the sheet in a continuous high-speed process, and can produce many thousands of finished parts per hour depending on the mold size and the size of the parts being formed.
Thermoforming differs from injection molding, blow molding, rotational molding and other forms of processing plastics. Thin-gauge thermoforming is primarily the manufacture of disposable cups, containers, lids, trays, blisters, clamshells, and other products for the food, medical, and general retail industries. Thick-gauge thermoforming includes parts as diverse as vehicle door and dash panels, refrigerator liners, utility vehicle beds, and plastic pallets.
Thin-gauge and heavy-gauge (thick) thermoforming
At PMC Medical Packaging we offer two general thermoforming process categories. Sheet thickness less than 1.5 mm (0.060 inches) is usually delivered to the thermoforming machine from rolls or from a sheet extruder. Thin-gauge roll-fed or inline extruded thermoforming applications are dominated by rigid or semi-rigid disposable packaging. Sheet thicknesses greater than 3 mm (0.120 inches) are usually delivered to the forming machine by hand or an auto-feed method already cut to final dimensions. Heavy, or thick-gauge, cut sheet thermoforming applications are primarily used as permanent structural components. There is a small but growing medium-gauge market that forms sheet 1.5 mm to 3 mm in thickness.
Heavy-gauge forming utilizes the same basic process as continuous thin-gauge sheet forming, typically draping the heated plastic sheet over a mold. Heavy-gauge parts are used as cosmetic surfaces on permanent structures such as kiosks, automobiles, trucks, medical equipment, material handling equipment, refrigerators, spas, and shower enclosures, and electrical and electronic equipment. Unlike most thin-gauge thermoformed parts, heavy-gauge parts are often hand-worked after forming for trimming to final shape or for additional drilling, cutting, or finishing, depending on the product. Heavy-gauge products typically are of a “permanent” end use nature, while thin-gauge parts are more often designed to be disposable or recyclable and are primarily used to package or contain a food item or product. Heavy-gauge thermoforming is typically used for production quantities of 250 to 3000 annually, with lower tooling costs and faster product development than competing plastic technologies like injection molding.
We are committed to strict quality controls. We have certified our processes to ISO standards. We have also added cleanroom class 100,000 and clean environment for our medical and electronic component clients.