Types of Thermoformed Plastic Packaging Designs and Their Benefits

As thermoforming machine manufacturers, the team of experts at Vacumatic, vacuum packaging machines consistently gets questions from people asking what is a thermoforming process, how to use it to create a custom packaging design? If you also have any such queries, then this blog is for you.Keep reading! In this blog, we have outlined some of the basics behind the thermoforming process. Also, we have described different forming methods that you can use for packing of your products: vacuum, plug assist, and plug assist pressure. First, let’s get to the basics.  

Define Thermoforming 

If you want custom plastic designs, thermoforming is for you.In order to develop a one-of-a-kind thermoformed design, the team stretches a heated sheet of plastic over a mold. Then the specialists contain air pressure in a designated box. After the design cools and takes the shape of the mold, the packaging team trims and assembles the entire design.When the pressure on the plastic exceeds, the process of thermoforming comes into play. For instance, when the pressure on a plastic sheet exceeds 15 lbs. per square inch, and goes up to 150 lbs. per square inch.Packaging made for the food, electronics, and pharmaceutical industries use thermoforming. 

Vacuum Forming 

This is used for creating packaging designs. This does not require depth or thickness, use just a “simple” version of the thermoforming where a sheet of plastic stretches over or into a female mold.By using negative air pressure, the plastic packaging design forms over the mold. Most companies prefer vacuum forming because it is cost-effective and has a streamlined process.The vacuum forming machines cost less to operate. Also, the materials used are also less expensive. Because the designs are not detailed, vacuum-formed packaging requires less time for creation. However, this process does not only yield as many products as other packaging design methods but also makes it ideal for shorter runs. 

Plug Assist Forming 

This is another process used for plastic packaging design. This process uses a male plug tool which mounts over the machine to force the plastic material into the female cavity, therefore it creates the plastic packaging design.The plug may be constructed of urethane, syntactic foam or aluminum. This method has a consistent fill, can ensure a similar thickness for each run.Plug assist forming can also prevent webbing in the packaging design. 

Plug Assist Pressure Forming 

Plug assist pressure forming is similar to plug assist forming, yet the two have key differences.The plug mounts over, but at this time, air vented under the sheet applies pressure on the plug side. The temperatures formed in plug helps in pressure forming but it must remain consistent to ensure desired results. 

Design Considerations of Thermoforming 

Quality Design 

Excellent design is the very first step to producing a good thermoformed packaging. Your design will explain everything right from packaging, tooling and much more.You will have to explain to the packaging team about your design requirements. Also tell the design team about any specifics of your products.Then looking at your requirement, our design team will suggest various structures that will provide high-level protection to your products. Not just this, the packaging will also enhance the aesthetics through its enticing appeal.  

Material Selection 

Selecting the right material is the next step. Most companies widely use PET and PETG plastics for the creation of thermoformed parts.Well, both have their own advantages. Also, both are suitable for a variety of applications.For thinner thermoformed products such as water bottles, companies use PET.  

Quality Tooling 

Once the material and design are decided upon, our team then produces customized tooling. This process is not that easy but with an all-inclusive company like Vacumatic, it is just so easy. Also, a vertically integrated packaging company is able to produce tooling in-house which provides added cost savings benefits. 

Plug Design 

This is the next step i.e., plug design. For custom packaging design, the team at Vacumatic produces a one-of-a-kind plug form.  

Cleanroom Environment 

For medical products, highly clean, sterile environment is needed and this is exactly what we provide when it comes to packaging for medical equipment. 

Speed to Market 

The designs are produced in the shortest time possible so that the packaging design can reach the market at a right time. Without the efficient timeline, the packaging design, its creation and its revision can take months. When time is not taken in consideration, the products tend to lose their relevance and popularity. Our team understands this; therefore, we deliver the project on time. 

Good Material Distribution 

Before we fulfill your entire packaging order, we will produce a prototype of the design to ask if you need any adjustment like material distribution or shape.The best part of thermoforming is that it allows for much greater control on material distribution.If you are someone who is looking for custom packaging designs, you are at a right place, for we also cater to the individual needs of our clients. For additional queries about thermoforming, contact us now! 

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