Since 1988, Advanced Plastiform, Inc. has been dedicated to designing and producing high-quality plastics for our Pennsylvania customers. Using innovative thermoforming and injection molding techniques, along with the latest technology in design and prototyping, we’re able to provide our clients with customized plastics that are highly accurate, durable, and long-lasting while also ensuring short lead times and low per-unit costs.
Injection Molding in Pennsylvania
For small, highly detailed plastic components and pieces, we use injection molding. This involves melting plastic pellets into a liquid and using a highly pressurized injection tool to force the plastic into a double-sided mold. This creates accurate, identical components that are often ready for use or for aesthetic customization once ejected from the mold.
Injection molding does come with a high initial cost and a longer lead time than thermoforming. Because the mold has to withstand up to 530 tons of pressure, we only use steel, copper alloy, or heavy-duty aluminum for injection molding, while prototyping and producing a double-sided mold is more labor intensive. However, once the initial molds are complete, the costs are low, making this a cost-effective option for repeat orders and large initial orders.
Thermoforming Plastics in Pennsylvania
For most of our orders, we utilize thermoforming because it’s less expensive and more efficient than injection molding while still producing an excellent finished result. We design a one-sided mold made from aluminum, heat plastic until it’s pliable, and shape it to the mold to create the desired form. Because the tool design and materials are less expensive and easier to produce than those used in injection molding, the cost is lower and is often used to produce smaller quantity orders.
There are three specific types of thermoforming we use at Advanced Plastiform, Inc.
For large plastic pieces like trays, refrigerator liners, and trunk tubs that don’t require intricate details or sharp corners, we use vacuum forming. We heat plastic until it’s soft and malleable, then shape it around the tool. A vacuum is used to suction out any air under the plastic, fitting it tightly against the shape of the tool and creating the desired result.
Pressure forming is much more precise and advanced than vacuum forming and actually works in an opposite method. We shape the heated plastic around a tool and blast it with highly pressurized air to press the plastic more firmly against the tool. This makes it possible to get the sharp corners, details, and desired texture from a thermoforming process. Pressure forming is often used as an alternative to injection molding.
Twin Sheet Forming
We use twin sheet forming for hollow-core, double-walled, and cylindrical plastics like chutes, air ducts, and pallets. Twin sheet forming involves heating and shaping two sheets of plastic at the same time, then fusing them together. While this doesn’t sound complicated, this process requires absolute accuracy and precision in order to ensure that the two pieces will line up exactly.
Pennsylvania Industries Using Thermoformed Plastics
We have extensive experience in working with a wide variety of industries in Pennsylvania, providing them with custom plastics. As industries improve and modernize, we do the same by using the latest technology and equipment related to thermoforming and injection molding design, prototyping and manufacturing.
We work with vehicle manufacturers and independent parts suppliers to provide custom automotive part injection molding and thermoforming. We design and produce plastic radio knobs and dials, seat frames, dashboards, and so much more.
Manufacturers of farm equipment and construction machinery come to us for construction equipment part thermoforming because they know that the levers, seat frames, and even windshields we produce will withstand the heavy usage associated with the agriculture and construction industries.
Furniture not only has to be sturdy, it has to look good, too. That’s why our furniture part thermoforming process not only leads to strong, durable furniture parts, we are able to add customizations such as tinting, paint, silk screening, and textures that improve the look of the piece. From desk drawers and table tops to office chair frames, our thermoformed furniture blends function with form.
Our materials handling thermoforming provides our Pennsylvania clients with the solutions necessary to improve the operations at distribution centers, warehouses, and storage and shipping facilities. From chutes, conveyor components, and shelving, our logistics materials ensure your product moves quickly while staying well protected.
We offer medical supply thermoforming to medical companies across Pennsylvania, specializing in packaging, trays, and equipment parts that withstand use and meet regulations. From branding and aesthetic customization to anti-static coatings and antimicrobial coatings, we make sure our medical supplies meet our clients’ precise needs in this challenging industry.
We often work with RV and ATV companies and third-party suppliers to create plastics similar to what we design and produce for automotive companies. However, RVs and ATVs require special care as they experience more adverse conditions and need to be made durable and rugged to stand up to heavy use. That’s why we use the most long-lasting plastics in our recreational vehicle part thermoforming along with adding the customizations that make these pieces look fantastic.
The refrigerators and freezers used in restaurants and grocery stores have to withstand both constant use and extreme conditions related to temperatures and moisture. When we are thermoforming commercial refrigeration parts, such as liners, shelving, and drawers, we take those factors into account and design moisture and temperature-resistant plastics that can hold up after commercial use.
When creating data centers and commercial networks, Pennsylvania telecommunications companies reach out to us for telecommunication part thermoforming. We design and produce customized plastics that help them maintain these complex networks of wires and cables, keeping them neatly organized and easy to repair, update, and install.
Our shipping tray thermoforming offers custom solutions for logistics and operations departments. Our trays are designed with the customizations necessary to ensure the safety of goods and products during the shipping process, whether that includes anti-static coatings for electronics or highly impact resistant materials for fragile items.
We provide transportation part thermoforming solutions for manufacturers and parts suppliers for commercial vehicles, including buses and 18-wheelers. From storage bins to large air ducts, we keep up with the strict regulations these vehicles require.
We work with water treatment facilities and water and air filter companies in Pennsylvania to design and produce large filter modules necessary for municipal and commercial use. Our large manufacturing site and machinery allow us to provide filtration system thermoforming on a large scale, able to produce modules up to 30 feet long.
Pennsylvania Thermoforming and Injection Molding Materials
We keep several plastics and polymers on hand in order to create the best-finished result for your project.
If you need a clear plastic that can withstand impact, acrylic is a popular option that is easy to tint, color, and customize for items like windows and signs.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
ABS is used in automotive parts, pipes, and home construction pieces because it is resistant to corrosion and impact. It’s low cost and ease of use in thermoforming and injection molding make it a popular plastic.
High Molecular Weight Polyethyene (HMWPE)
HMWPE is used in shipping trays and materials handling pieces like conveyors and chutes because it has a low coefficient of friction and a non-abrasive surface.
High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS)
HIPS is used in food packaging and consumer goods because it’s lightweight, easy to thermoform, and is inexpensive.
Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO)
TPO contains rubber and fillers that prevent damage from moisture, temperature changes, and UV rays. It’s often used in commercial roofing and outdoor items like lawn furniture.
Polypropylene is flexible, inexpensive, and safe for food, making this a commonly used plastic for food packaging, food storage, and water bottles.
Polycarbonate is lightweight, impact resistant, and transparent, though it is not scratch-resistant. It’s often used for electronics’ screens, sunglass lenses, and eyeglass lenses.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is best known for lightweight, durable pipes, but PVC is so durable, it’s also used to make credit and membership cards, doors, and window frames.
Contact Us for Pennsylvania Thermoforming and Injection Molding
Since 1988, Pennsylvania companies have relied on us for custom thermoforming and injection molding to make the durable plastic pieces and components for their businesses. We proudly serve all parts of Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Allentown, and Scranton.