Advanced Plastiform, Inc partners with a wide variety of companies in the automotive industry, from vehicle manufacturers to independent parts suppliers, across the Southeastern United States. We are a full-service plastics manufacturing center, designing, manufacturing, and delivering our custom plastics all from our centrally located North Carolina manufacturing center. We with our innovative automotive injection molding and thermoforming techniques, we are able to provide safe, durable plastic components at a low per-unit cost and a fast lead time.
Custom Automotive Thermoforming
Automotive thermoforming is the act of heating a single plastic sheet until it is soft and malleable enough to form or shape around a custom-designed mold or tool. To ensure the most accurate shape, the plastic sheet is either vacuum sealed into the mold to form a tight fit or heavy air pressure pushes against the plastic to press it into the mold. We often use this method for automotive parts and components that are large or don’t require complex details like sharp angles or varying thickness.
Commonly thermoformed automotive parts include:
- Center consoles
- Interior door panels
- Truck bed liners
- Shaped tub for trunks
- Bumper fascias
Benefits of Automotive Thermoforming
Using thermoforming to manufacture automotive parts has two major benefits for our customers – time and cost.
- Time: We design and develop an aluminum 3D mold at the same time we are creating the plastic sheets to be formed. Once everything is ready, we can begin the tooling process which includes molding and forming the components, followed by trimming, applying paint or silk-screening, or coating them as necessary. The process takes around 14 weeks from designing to shipping out for delivery.
- Cost: Automotive thermoforming is a relatively inexpensive method to mold plastic components due to the relatively low cost of tooling, especially for annual orders of 3,000 pieces or less.
Custom Automotive Injection Molding
For the smaller parts and components, or pieces that require varied thickness or detailing, we use automotive injection molding to guarantee safety, quality, and durability. We heat plastic pellets to their melting point and use a high-pressure injection method to force the plastic into a double-sided, 3D mold made of aluminum, steel, or a copper alloy. This ensures that the plastic is fitted perfectly into the mold, creates uniformity between each piece and accuracy to the design and specifications. Injection molding is the best option for small plastic items or pieces that have intricate or complex details.
Commonly injection molded automotive parts include:
- Side steps
- Radio and air conditioning knobs and dials
- Under-the-hood parts and components
Benefits of Automotive Injection Molding
Because injection molding is much more specific regarding size and design, it has a longer lead time than thermoforming, usually 16 to 20 weeks rather than 14 weeks. However, the main benefits are quantity cost and precision.
- Cost: While thermoforming is inexpensive for pieces less than 3,000, with injection molding, it’s cost-effective to use injection molding for large annual orders. The cost to design and develop the injection tool and mold is more expensive, but once we have them, we don’t need to recreate them. If you need multiple large orders or ongoing pieces, this will save you money over thermoforming.
- Precision: When you need small components or pieces that have more complicated details and designs, automotive injection molding allows us to create the exact shape you need. From ridges to sharp corners, this method allows us to achieve the precision and accuracy you need.
Your Automotive Thermoforming & Injection Molding Experts
If you are seeking high-quality, long-lasting plastic products and components for cars, trucks, and other vehicles, reach out to Advanced Plastiform, Inc. Our team of experts is available to help you create the perfect pieces for your vehicle or vehicle parts that add safety, value, and durability to vehicles. We proudly serve seven states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia.