Category Archives: Thermoform Molding

7 Reasons Why Thermoform Molding Is Your Best Packaging Option

We may be biased, but we truly believe that for just about every retail product, thermoformed molding is a fantastic packaging option. If you are still on the fence, here are 7 reasons why you should consider thermoform molding for your packaging.

1. A World Of Versatility

The process of thermoform molding involves feeding large, thin sheets of thermoplastics into machines known as thermoformers. These machines heat up the plastic, force the heated plastic into custom molds, cool the plastic and then trim way excess plastic. Because thermoplastic is so easy to mold, it can be crafted into virtually any shape or size. Even the most complicated designs can be created through the process of thermoform molding, thus thermoplastics are some of the most versatile materials in the world.

2. Affordable Materials

One of the best reasons to consider thermoform molding is the affordability factor. Thermoplastics are far less expensive to produce than products made of metal, glass and even paper-based packaging. At our plant, we have a wide variety of equipment which allows our customers to select plastics that truly fit their budget.

3. More Savings

Beyond the fact that thermoplastics are inexpensive materials in general, using these materials also will save you money in other ways. For instance, because we can create packages that fit around your product exactly, you can use smaller packaging. This means you can fit more products on a shelf and that more products will fit into shipping boxes. Additionally, thermoplastics are extremely lightweight, which lowers your shipping costs and we all know how high transportation costs have become over the last decade.

3. A Myriad Of Materials

As we stated above, our plant features many different types of thermoform molding machinery, and these machines can handle many different thermoplastic materials. With so many choices, it’s easy to find a material that suits your needs. We have thermoplastics ideal for different types of liquids and beverages as well as food products and medical or pharmaceutical products. Additionally, we have materials ideally suitable for electronics and computer-related equipment. No matter what type of product you have, there is a thermoplastic material with properties that will suit that product.

4. Superior Protection

With so many types of thermoplastics, it’s easy to find a type of plastic that protects your product. For instance, perhaps you have a product with several pieces. We can create a thermoplastic tray with custom cavities that fit each piece of your product exactly, thus providing plenty of protection. This tray then can be inserted into a box or even an outer layer of plastic packaging.

Another option is to consider is a thermoplastic clamshell package. These can be crafted out of strong thermoplastic and then heat sealed in order to make it tamper-proof as well as locking out moisture.

5. Sustainability

While you might not think that thermoplastics and sustainability go hand in hand, you might be surprised at some of the facts about plastic. For instance, virtually every thermoplastic we use at Indepak is recyclable. Many are accepted by most curbside recycling programs, which makes it easy for consumers to recycle their packaging.

At Indepak, we offer a variety of eco-friendly options such as using thermoplastics with post-consumer grade materials as well as combination designs that include plastics as well as paper or pulp. We also can create some packaging out of starch-based bio-plastics.

6. Save Energy & Cut Transportation Costs

The creation of thermoplastic materials also tends to require less energy than the creation of other types of packaging materials, such as aluminum. More importantly, plastic weighs less than other materials, which means that you expend less energy to transport your products. Because of the light weight, you also can place more products into trucks, planes, trains and ships.

7. Attractive & Eye-Catching

One of the big advantages of using thermoplastic packaging is that this material is clear and allows consumers to see exactly what they are purchasing. We can create designs that catch the eye and show off your product to its best advantage. While designing cost-effective and protective packaging is always a priority, we also strive to create designs that attract consumers.

At Indepak, we offer thermoformed molding services for just about every industry. Our client list includes many retailers as well as specialty food and beverage companies. If you are in the market for affordable, custom packaging, give us a call today and let’s discuss your packaging needs.

Thermoform Molding & PET

Here at Indepak, we use a wide variety of thermoplastic materials to create packages, trays and other thermoplastic products. One commonly used material for thermoform molding is polyethylene terephthalate. This plastic, more commonly and easily known as PET, is one of the most widely used thermoplastics on the planet.

PET is actually a member of the vast polyester family. While polyester might make you think about clothing, particularly the groovy styles of the late 1960s and 1970s, this family of thermoplastics is quite versatile and used to make many products and packages.

When it comes to PET, this thermoplastic polymer boasts properties which make it ideal for many packages. Because it offers high barrier properties against substances such as water vapor, oils, gases, alcohols and dilute acids, it is an ideal choice as a container for many foods and beverages. In fact, virtually all water bottles are created using PET.

PET also has several other advantages. For instance, it is a highly affordable thermoplastic in general and its light weight helps reduce shipping costs. It is also a strong, shatter-proof material which means that your product with be well-protected.

Its clarity is yet another advantage of PET. Because its clarity is similar to glass, using PET makes it easier for consumers to see your product. Of course, like all thermoplastics, it is easy to mold into virtually any shape. Our team of thermoform molding experts can create just about any type of packaging using PET or PETG. The latter of which is simply glycol-modified polyethylene terephthalate and this type of thermoplastic is even more impact-resistant than PET.PETG also is RF sealable, which makes it a good option for many types of packaging. Both PET and PETG are approved for use by the FDA and the USDA.

These days, many consumers worry about food packaging that contains a substance known as bisphenol A or BPA. However, neither PET packaging nor PETG packaging contains BPA so if you are searching for an affordable, BPA-free material for your food or beverage packaging, PET or PETG might be a good option.

Additionally, PET is the easiest thermoplastic to recycle. This type of plastic is accepted by virtually every curbside recycling program in the United States. If you flip over a thermoplastic package, you will notice that each package is marked with a resin identification code and PET has a code of 1. Thermoplastic products with a 1 or a 2 typically are the easiest materials to recycle. The 2 indicates that the material used was high-density polyethylene (HDPE), and we also use this material to create many thermoform molding projects.

No matter what type of thermoform molding project you have, the team at Indepak can match you with the ideal materials. In addition to PET, PETG and HDPE, we also use thermoplastics such as PVC, ABS, PP and OPS as well as some starch-based bio materials. We also can craft combination designs that include paper or pulp as well as thermoplastic materials. Give us a call today and we will discuss your product and packaging needs as see if PET or PETG will be the best choice for your project.

Some Facts About Thermoform Molding

Thermoforming in a nutshell is simply the process by which sheets of plastic are transformed into a wide variety of packaging and products. At Indepak, we specialize in thin-gauge thermoform molding and our factory is full of huge pieces of machinery that can create packaging in all shapes and sizes.

When we talk about thermoforming and thermoformed molding, we often refer to the many types of packages that we produce, including many types of blister packs and clamshells as well as containers with or without lids. But we also specialize in thermoform trays and other products crafted from thermoplastics.

Some commonly used materials for thermoform molding include polyvinyl chloride (PVC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), both low-density and high-density polyethylene (LDPE & HDPE), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG). We use these as well as several other thermoplastics, including some starch-based bio materials.

Because we are a thin-gauge thermoformer, our thermoform molding process generally includes using huge rolls of very thin thermoplastic which is fed into one of our pieces of thermoforming equipment.
As it rolls into the machine, the thermoplastic is heated and once it has reached the ideal temperature for thermoformed molding, it moves to the section of the machine that holds the molds, the form station. Here tremendous pressure will be used to force the pliable thermoplastic into the mold. After this station, the molded thermoplastic moves on to be cooled. After it has cooled, the excess plastic is trimmed off and recycled.

The excess plastic that is trimmed after the thermoform molding process is complete is actually called the web. Our goal at Indepak is always to leave the smallest possible web behind after production. Through our careful design process, we create molds that utilize as much of a thermoplastic sheet as possible, reducing the waste as best we can. Of course, as we stated before, all of the trimmings will be recycled and used again for some other purpose.

We have multiple lines of high-speed equipment at Indepak and a variety of different types of equipment. This helps us provide custom packaging solutions to an array of clients, including pharmaceutical and medical firms, industrial and electronics firms, specialty food companies, agricultural companies and hundreds of unique retail companies. We can use thermoform molding to craft just about anything you might need, and we can even design packaging using a combination of thermoplastics and foil or perhaps paper and pulp combinations.

In addition, we also provide package fulfillment services including sealing your packaging together using heat sealing or perhaps RF welding. Beyond design, production and fulfillment, we also can help you with inventory management. Our massive, 50,000-square foot warehouse provides plenty of space for your inventory and we can design a custom inventory program just for you. In these ways, we aim to provide a total solution for all of our clients that need our thermoform molding services.

Thermoform Molding: Some Common Terms We Use

Every industry has its own special and unique terminology, and those of us tasked with thermoformed molding are no exception. To help you decipher a bit of our thermoform molding jargon, here are a few of the many common terms we use and what they mean.

Thermoform molding is a process that uses heat to increase the temperature of plastic to the point where it is easy to mold. Once the thermoplastic has been molded, we cool it down and trim off any excess plastic. That, of course, is a very simplified explanation of the thermoform molding process. Before we actually create your product, we design a mold and produce a prototype to ensure that your product or package is exactly right for your needs.

When it comes to thermoform molding, you can often separate this process into two categories. This includes thin-gauge thermoformed molding and thick-gauge thermoformed molding. At Indepak, we use thin-gauge thermoplastics that range from .008” up to .080” and foam materials that range from about 1/16” to ¼”.

In general, when you are creating high volumes of products, such as packaging, bottles, lightweight containers and thermoformed trays, thin-gauge is the ideal choice. Thick gauge thermoform molding is typically used to create very sturdy items and a lower volume of items.

Within the world of thin-gauge thermoform molding, we can create virtually any product, package or tray you might need. This includes items such as clamshells and blister packs, which are two more commonly used terms within the thermoformed molding and packaging industries.

A blister pack is a type of thermoform molding package that includes one or more cavities to hold a product. For instance, individual pills of over-the-counter medicine often are housed in a thermoplastic blister pack with a foil backing. However, countless other products can be sealed in a blister pack. Another example would be a 10-pack of batteries where cavities are formed in thermoplastic to perfectly surround and protect the batteries. This type of blister package might have a paperboard backing rather than foil.

A clamshell is a blister pack that simply folds onto itself, and we see these all the time at retail stores. For instance, a set of headphones might be encased entirely in a thermoplastic clamshell. In this case, the process of thermoform molding also would include the sealing of the clamshell. For a simple clamshell that might hold baked goods or berries, the clamshell might simply snap shut without being sealed. These are just two examples of clamshell packaging, and we create all different sizes and shapes of clamshells for our clients from a wide variety of industries.

Packages created via thermoform molding can be made using a wide variety of thermoplastics. Usually, we simply refer to these plastics by their abbreviations. For instance, polyethylene terephthalate is quite a mouthful, so we just refer to it as PET or PETE. Likewise, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene typically is just called ABS. These are just types of thermoplastic with which we work.

When we begin a thermoformed molding project, one of our first decisions will be to decide what type of thermoplastic will best work for your project. This depends, of course, on the materials used to create your product as well as your budget and the volume of units that you need to have produced. There are many types of thermoplastic, as well as options that include plastic and paperboard or foil, so it’s generally easy to come up with options to suit every client.

Sustainability is another aspect of thermoformed molding with which many of our clients are concerned. The good news is that the majority of materials we use are recyclable, and we also have some renewable and bio-based options. Bio-based includes products that are created or partially created using biological products, forestry products or renewable agricultural materials. We also can use materials that include recycled content, which is a popular option with many of our clients.

These are just a few terms that you might hear as we discuss your project or as you research thermoform molding companies. While the terminology sometimes can seem confusing, we can make it easy for you to understand every aspect of your thermoformed molding and answer any questions that you might have along the way.

Different Types Of Thermoform Trays We Can Create

Custom thermoformed trays are something needed by just about every industry, from retail to medical and beyond. At Indepak, we have been creating custom thermoform trays for our clients for decades and can design a tray to exactly fit your product or product components. Here’s a look at just a few of the types of thermoform trays we can create.

For our retail customers, we can create many types of thermoform trays, such as retail display trays. These are components that work along with POP or point-of-purchase displays and offer an ideal way to display your unique product at a retail store. In addition to designing thermoformed trays for your display, we also can create custom thermoformed packaging, such as clamshells or blister packs to hold your product.

Plastic insert trays are another option that often fits the needs of retail customers. These thermoformed trays are created to hold a product that will be placed inside an outer container. These thermoform trays are ideal if you have a product with several parts that need to be housed separately. Because of the flexibility inherent in using thermoplastics, we are able to design virtually any custom shape you need for your thermoform trays.

Of course, you’ll find that plastic insert trays are used for many food products, as well. These thermoformed trays will be loaded up with food and then perhaps encased in a box or even a plastic clamshell. One example might be a plastic insert tray designed to hold several dozen cookies. Another example would be the thermoform trays that hold many different shapes of gourmet chocolates.

Another type of thermoformed trays that we often create are work-in-process trays which allow for movement along a production line or for shipment out of one plant and over to another plant. Again these can be constructed as single or multi-cavity thermoform trays and we can configure the cavities precisely to store a variety of parts or components of your product.

For our medical, pharmaceutical or electronics clients, we can create trays that meet your special needs, as well. For instance, we create low particulate thermoform trays for medical and pharmaceutical clients, specifically for non-sterile or downstream sterilization applications. We also ensure traceability down to the box level.

For companies that produce electronics or electronic components, we will ensure that your static-sensitive products are well protected. We can create static dissipative packaging and thermoform trays that are fully traceable.

In general, we can create any type of thin-gauge thermoformed trays as well as lids for your trays. We have a wide variety of thermoplastics that we can use for your trays, including some bio-based options, and nearly all of our thermoplastics are recyclable. Give us a call today and we can get started creating a design prototype for your unique thermoformed trays.

Medical Packaging: Your Blister Packaging Options

Blister packaging is a common medical packaging option. Blister packs include a thin top layer of thermoplastic with a sealed backing typically made from a thin layer of plastic or foil. There are many reasons why blister packaging is an excellent option for your medical product.

With pharmaceutical products, there are many important factors to consider. Safety and security is certainly one component of medical packaging that we must consider. A blister pack can keep individual pills or tablets secure from many external elements such as humidity. These blister packages are well-sealed and provide excellent barrier protection which can increase shelf life greatly.

We can create custom medical packaging that fits your tablets or pills exactly, creating a specially designed cavity for each tablet. In addition, we can adjust the backing to any level of strength you require. For some companies, they wish to make it easy for clients to simply push a pill or tablet through the foil backing.

Often we design medical packaging that is a combination of a thermoform tray and blister packaging. For instance, you might need a sterilized medical kit that contains vials of medicine as well as syringes. Your thermoform tray will be create to fit each individual component exactly and we will create a lidding element that can be peeled open rather than a push-through option, as this increases security and keeps the product sterile. There are some excellent options for high barrier films for pharmaceutical products.

At Indepak, we understand the unique needs of a pharmaceutical client. We produce low particulate packaging for non-sterile applications as well as downstream sterilization applications. We maintain detailed records to ensure that there is traceability down to the box level. Our material ordering and receiving processes also ensure that your medical packaging meets all of your specifications.

Of course, in addition to keeping pharmaceutical products safe and secure, custom thermoform medical packaging is lightweight and inexpensive to produce, which reduces your overall costs. Our careful design process eliminates the need for an excess packaging, which also helps you control production costs and reduce shipping costs.

At Indepak, our experienced team provides you with top technical expertise as well as top customer service. If you need help with pharmaceutical or medical packaging, we can create just about anything that you might need. Give us a call today and we can begin the design process to fulfill your unique packaging needs.

Recycling & Thermoform Packaging

At Indepak we are committed to limiting our impact on the environment, and we’ve been passionate about reducing, re-using and recycling for many years. When it comes to thermoform packaging, we have many options that help our clients improve their sustainability as well.

First of all, Indepak goes beyond the ISO 14001 requirements. These are standards that are set for businesses regarding environmental management. Not only are we ISO 14001 certified, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to lessen our environmental impact in every area of our company.

Thermoform packaging is created using thermoplastic materials, and most of these materials are highly recyclable. Two of the materials that you might consider for your thermoform packaging include polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE). These two thermoplastics can be recycled easily and are accepted by the vast majority of curbside recycling programs in the United States. However, there are many other thermoplastics to consider for your thermoform packaging and these can be recycled in many places throughout the country.

In addition to the aforementioned thermoplastic, there are some innovative bio-based plastics available for your thermoform packaging. For instance, we have some starched-based bioplastics that you might be able to use for your thermoform packaging. Post-consumer grade materials also a great option to consider and we offer that as well. Virtually every material we use during production can be recycled.

In addition to using many recyclable materials, we also create thermoform packaging designs that limit waste. It also is important to note that any excess thermoplastic trimmed off after each package has been created will be recycled and then used again. We also take recycling very seriously in general. After all, as residents of Portland, we are in one of the most environmentally innovative cities in the United States and everyone here is enthusiastic about recycling, reusing and renewing.

For many of our clients, sustainability is very important and we understand and will do whatever it takes to provide you with the best, most sustainable options for your thermoform packaging.

Take a look at our home page and click on the Sustainability tab to learn more about our goals and commitment to reducing our impact on the environment. This page also details some help industry terms in regards to sustainability. If you have further questions or wish to get started with the design of your custom thermoform packaging, call or email today.

Keep Your Costs Down With Thermoforming By Indepak

Because every product needs some type of package, you know that a decent portion of your yearly budget will be allocated toward packaging. However, there are many ways to reduce the costs associated with packaging and as a thermoforming company our goal is always to product the highest quality packaging at the lowest possible cost to our customer.

Selecting thermoforming for package creation is definitely a great way to lower your costs. There are many types of thermoplastic that we can use and many are quite inexpensive. For instance, we might be able to use high impact polystyrene or HIPS which is a highly versatile, inexpensive thermoplastic.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is another type of thermoplastic widely used by thermoforming companies. Known more commonly simply as ABS, this thermoplastic is inexpensive and is known for its strength, toughness and resistance to many chemicals. It also offers a great deal of versatility when it comes to processing.

These are just two of the thermoforming options you might want to consider, but we also can produce packaging out of other thermoplastics and even bio-based materials. We will evaluate your product and provide you with materials that truly will suit your needs.

In addition to the low cost of these thermoforming plastics, these materials also are very lightweight. They can protect your product and keep it secure without adding a huge amount of weight. This can lower your shipping costs and, as we have all seen, the cost of shipping has been skyrocketing throughout the last few years.

Along those same lines, thermoforming also can reduce your costs because we can create a thermoplastic package that fits your item exactly. You won’t need a ton of excess packaging to protect and store a product, as we can create a design that limits the amount of excess thermoplastic. This allows you to ship more items per box or perhaps use smaller box sizes, both of which can lower shipping costs.

Another way that Indepak can help provide an affordable solution for your company is by offering a variety of in-house services. We provide a total solution for our clients that includes product development and in-house tooling, as well as production, quality control, package fulfillment, inventory management and even shipping. Not all thermoforming companies provide all of these services, and it can really help reduce your bottom line.

Thermoformed Molding: A Brief Overview

If you take a look around in any store from an electronics retailer to a hardware store or a grocery store, you will see hundreds of examples of thermoform plastic packaging. Those blister packages and clamshell packages protect a wide array of products. Thermoformed molding is how we create the unique, intricate custom packages.

At Indepak, our thermoformed molding process begins by studying your product and creating a custom package design. A mold then will be created to your exact specifications and this is what will be used to create the prototype of your package and, if approved, it will be used to create as many packaging units as you might need.

There are several different types of molds that can be used for thermoformed molding. Aluminum molds often are used because these molds have temperature control lines embedded throughout the mold. This will keep the plastic at a constant temperature, and aluminum molds tend to allow for faster production that other types of molds. They do come with a higher price tag than other mold materials.

Composite molds tend to be more cost-effective and they also last nearly as long as aluminum molds. Created from resins, these molds aren’t quite as easy to control, temperature-wise. Still, unless your company is planning on producing an extremely large amount of thermoform packages, an aluminum mold can be a great, budget-friendly choice.

Even wood can be used for thermoformed molding, and this definitely can be easy on the budget. Wood molds are a good choice in the early stages of production as they are inexpensive and it’s easy to make design changes. Once you have settled on the perfect design, we can create a mold out of composite resin or aluminum for mass production.

As the word thermoform suggests, heat is a big part of the process. A large, thick sheet of plastic will be heated until it is pliable enough to fit into a custom mold. Then the thermoform molding process really begins to take shape, so to speak. The pliable plastic will be forced into the mold and once it has cooled, any excess plastic will be trimmed away.

In addition to thinking about thermoformed molding and the creation of molds, customers also will need to select a specific type of plastic for their thermoform package or custom thermoform product. Our design team can help you select a type of plastic that will protect and properly store your product while at the same time keeping costs as low as possible.

If you are interested in learning more about Indepak and our custom thermoformed molding process, give us a call today. We are certain to be able to come up with a total packaging solution to fit with your company’s needs.