Thermoforming in plastics processing

Thermoforming: cost-effective technology for medium series runs

Greiner Assistec is a thermoforming specialist. It has built up extensive expertise in the technology over decades. The primary benefit for customers of working with Greiner Assistec, however, is the range of possibilities available as a result of combining technologies. Each of the technologies at the company’s disposal can be used together to best suit particular requirements. Combining thermoforming and Injection molding, for example, leads to precise and efficient solutions.

  • Thermoforming services: For component dimensions up to 2.5 × 1.5 m and plate thicknesses up to 15 mm
  • Thermoformed products can be finished and further processed straightaway by Greiner Assistec

In the thermoforming process, extruded sheets or plates are fed into a thermoforming machine where they are heated. Compressed air is used to pre-bend the material before the component is shaped over a mold by a vacuum. It is then cooled ahead of any further processing – such as punching, milling, or drilling – to suit the intended application. Additional decoration or assembly steps to finish the component may follow, depending on customer requirements.

Various categories of thermoforming technology

Our broad portfolio of thermoforming processes is a unique selling point that benefits our customers. By working closely together, we find the ideal production process for the particular project and are thus able to present our customers with the best solution to suit their needs in terms of quality and efficient cost structure.

Sheet thermoforming

Sheet thermoforming is particularly suited for thin-walled components with simple geometry and consistent wall thickness. Transparent tooling costs mean that even very large volumes

can be produced cost-effectively by maximizing the number of cavities. The technology can be used to manufacture components from single- or multilayer sheets. It is also possible to insert a barrier layer, and layers in different colors can be used to achieve special lighting effects. At Greiner Assistec we use sheet thermoforming to manufacture components with dimensions of up to 760 × 500 mm from sheets with an initial thickness of up to 2 mm.

Single-sheet process

The technology is primarily used to produce very large parts. By using our existing machinery, we can realize maximum component dimensions of 1.5 × 2.5 m. Thanks to its transparent tooling costs, the technology is also extremely attractive in the case of smaller volumes for certain projects.

Twin-sheet process

The twin-sheet process allows for different characteristics in the front and reverse sides of the plastic part to be easily accommodated without the need for an additional assembly step. There are also no problems in satisfying tolerance requirements on both sides. As additional benefits, twin-sheet products, exhibit higher levels of rigidity, and fastening elements can be inserted into the gap between the sheets.

Thermoforming references

Many well-known customers put their trust in Greiner Assistec to handle their thermoforming requirements. The technology is frequently used for logistics projects in the automotive industry, but trim elements for the vehicle industry and assemblies for energy storage devices are also produced using the thermoforming method.

Read more about our successfully completed projects in our online magazine.