Since 1988, Advanced Plastiform, Inc. has worked with North Carolina industries and businesses, providing custom-made plastics for a broad variety of uses. At our 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility, we use the latest innovations in both injection molding and heavy-gauge thermoforming to ensure accurate design with identical output along with efficient production.
North Carolina Injection Molding
Injection molding is a technique in which plastic “pellets” are melted to a liquid and are then forced into a mold with extremely high pressure. This guarantees that all of the plastic reaches even the smallest parts of the mold to create the most accurate piece. Once the piece is molded and cooled, it’s removed from the mold where it can be painted, silkscreened, or otherwise customized.
Injection molding is most often used when small, highly detailed components or pieces with variable thickness are needed, which can’t always be achieved during the thermoforming process. While the upfront costs of injection molding are high due to the tooling costs, the price per unit is very cost-effective, especially for high volume orders or repeat orders.
North Carolina Heavy-Gauge Thermoforming
Heavy-gauge thermoforming involves heating large plastic sheets until it’s soft and malleable, then shaping it around a custom designed tool to create a specific form or shape. Perfect for large pieces that don’t require intensive detailing, thermoforming has a lower cost of tooling and faster lead times than injection forming. There are three specific types of thermoforming we use at Advanced Plastiform, Inc.
Once the plastic is heated and fitted against a tool, a high-power vacuum is inserted, suctioning all the air between the plastic and mold, pulling it firmly against the mold and creating a tight fit. Vacuum forming is a method used for large pieces of plastic that don’t require sharp angles or intricate detailing, and because it’s the simplest method, it’s also the fastest and least expensive in most cases.
Pressure forming can sometimes be a less expensive alternative to injection molding due to the ability to create such sharp corners and clearly defined details. It’s done by using a vacuum to remove any air between the tool and plastic, much like in vacuum forming, but from the outside, the sheet is blasted with highly pressurized air to ensure improved accuracy to the mold.
Twin Sheet Forming
Perfect for creating hollow tubes, two-sided pieces, or plastic pieces in which components need to be placed inside, twin sheet forming is the most complex method of thermoforming. During this process, we shape two individual pieces of plastic around two separate tools, being cautious to ensure complete accuracy in shaping. Then, we fuse the two shaped pieces together to create one, perfectly formed piece.
Thermoforming & Injection Molding for North Carolina Industries
We’ve been working with a variety of industries across North Carolina since 1988. As industries’ needs change, we are able to grow with them, adopting the most innovative thermoforming and injection molding techniques to keep production efficient, lower costs, and provide the best possible durability and quality.
Advanced Plastiform, Inc. works with multiple different companies across the automotive industry. Using injection molding to create small internal pieces, radio knobs, and dials, to automotive part thermoforming for large dashboards and door consoles, we work with automotive manufacturers and third party parts suppliers to create durable, safe plastics used in cars and trucks nationwide.
Farm and construction equipment manufacturers in North Carolina rely on us for construction equipment part injection molding and thermoforming to create the strong, sturdy plastic components they can use in their heavy equipment such as tractors and bulldozers. From levers and switches to seat frames, we take care to ensure every piece is identical and accurately made to the prototype.
North Carolina is known for quality furniture manufacturing, and we are proud to play a role in that through our furniture part thermoforming. Our design and manufacturing team often create high-quality office furniture parts, such as chair arms, seats, and backs, but we also thermoform desk drawers, tables, and furniture legs.
Distribution centers, warehouses, and shipping companies work with us for their materials handling goods, including trays, storage containers, shelving units, and transport chutes. We help our clients improve their logistics through materials handling thermoforming to make precise, high-quality plastics that keep goods protected or expedite their shipping, storing, and transferring processes.
We work with medical supply companies across North Carolina, manufacturing plastics designed to adhere to strict medical regulations while also meeting the needs of our clients. From packaging to equipment components, our medical supply thermoforming options allow us to offer customizations including anti-static coating and UV protection to keep products safe for patients.
Similar to the automotive industry, we also work with RV and ATV manufacturers to create the plastics they need for their vehicles. Recreational vehicles are put through the paces, often going off road and pushed through more difficult elements. Our clients come to us, knowing that through our recreational vehicle part thermoforming, we provide the durable, long-lasting plastics they need to keep their vehicles working harder for longer.
Our engineers work with commercial refrigeration companies, designing the custom plastic used in large refrigerators, freezers, and cooler units. With shelving, liners, and drawers exposed to moisture, shifting temperatures, and excessive use, we work to thermoform commercial refrigeration parts that can stand up to those conditions.
Data centers and telecommunication networks often consist of tens of thousands of cables and wires in order to keep a building or organization connected. To keep these networks organized and functional, North Carolina communications companies come to us fortelecommunication part thermoforming in order to get the pieces necessary to keep their clients connected.
Our precise shipping tray thermoforming techniques allow us to create the large shipping trays and pallets necessary to protect and ship goods with ease. Similar to materials handling, companies turn to us to aid in their logistics process.
For commercial transportation, such as 18-wheelers and buses, Advanced Plastiform, Inc works with suppliers, manufacturing their air ducts, parts containment cases, and similar items. Our low-cost transportation part thermoforming is an excellent option as truck models change and update frequently.
Our plastics are often used in water and air filtration systems and water treatment facilities throughout North Carolina. With filter modules measuring over 30 feet in length, treatment facilities know that if they need filtration system thermoforming, we have the capability to handle these massive systems.
Plastics and Materials in our North Carolina Thermoforming
Because we work with such a broad assortment of industries, we understand that each job requires different materials and customization to create the exact product the client wants. That’s why we offer several different high-quality plastics for our thermoforming and injection molding orders.
Acrylic is often used in place of glass because it’s naturally transparent and much more impact resistant. This plastic also works well in thermoforming and offers near endless customization options, including tinting, reduced glare coating, and heat-resistance.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
ABS is the most widely used plastic in thermoforming, especially in automotive interiors, luggage, and large cases. It has a low melting temperature, making it easy to mold and manufacture, plus it can withstand corrosive substances and high impacts without damage.
High Molecular Weight Polyethyene (HMWPE)
HMWPE is a tough, impact-resistant material that also offers a low coefficient of friction and is self-lubricating. This makes it an excellent option for plastic shipping trays, containers, and shipping and storage for electronics.
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)
HIPSis lightweight but sturdy, and is versatile enough to use in both thermoforming and injection molding. While it doesn’t have quite as high of an impact resistance as ABS, it’s durable and often used for food packaging, housing, and product covers.
Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO)
By blending rubber and a reinforcing filler, TPO is a durable, long lasting material that won’t fade in the sun, nor expand or contract during temperature changes. TPO is usually used on outdoor materials, including vehicle roofing and outdoor furnishings.
Due to its high melting point and flexibility, polypropylene is often used in food handling products while its low electrical conductivity makes it a great option in electrical storage and products.
Polycarbonate is a light plastic that is impact resistant but can be scratched easily. It can be used in place of glass and is often used to protect eyeglass lenses.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
When a clear material is needed in place of glass, PVC is a common substitute. It’s durable, inexpensive, and is frequently used for windshields, windows, and clear product covers.
Contact Us for Custom Injection Molding and Thermoforming in North Carolina
For over 30 years, Advanced Plastiform, Inc. has been a leader in plastics manufacturing in North Carolina, proudly serving Raleigh, Durham, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Greensboro, and Asheville. Our experienced team of designers, engineers, and manufacturers will provide you with the accuracy, quality, and customization you need for your project.