Thermoforming Emergency 911: We Need Parts NOW!
Emergencies happen for all sorts of reasons but getting your parts on time at the needed quality level requires resources. Make sure your vendors, current or potential, can move at the fastest possible speed to support your needs.
Do They Have Internal Sheet Extrusion?
- Internal sheet extrusion puts the thermoformer in charge of sheet quality, production schedules, color conformance, and material choices that meet your needs. If your product is supported by external sheet sources, your options and/or your timing will be limited.
Do They Have Fast Tool Turnround?
- New tooling requires a little lead time. Tooling times on new or replacement molds are critical to delivery timing: Any good supplier will have more than one tooling vendor with more than one fabrication method.
- Tool deliveries in four weeks are common, and if needed, two to three weeks may be possible. Many thermoforming molds are cast, but when needed for tolerances or other characteristics, machined tools are also great for thermoforming. Special customizations may also drive the delivery time of a tool.
- 24 hours turnaround on takeover and new tools. With proper planning Spencer Industries has the ability to start producing parts 24 hours after the tool has been received. An experienced in-house staff of toolmakers, across three shifts, and in-house extrusion are major assets to making best use of available time. Nearby tooling vendors are another valuable resource in overcoming issues and solving problems.
Do They Have 3D Modeling?
- 3D modeling is a MUST HAVE! Lead times are triggered by supplying the tool vendor with the tool design or a model from which the vendor can design a mold. Look for a vendor with high-end 3D modeling, and mold design protocols for cooling lines, vacuum hole sizes and placements, and other details that gets the tool aker cutting chips faster and improves results in forming without delaying deliveries. Vendors who provide the tool design cut one step from the process. Your vendor should be totally responsible for the project, including the tool design.
- Ability to pre-build CNC fixtures using the 3D model while a mold is being built is a major time saver. Building and adjusting fixtures in house is a significant advantage in reaching first-part trimming. A lean, streamlined vendor can put this in motion to meet quick deliveries.
Can They Provide Quality?
- Mold and part conformance to your designs and prints are crucial determinations in making a new part perform. Repeating current part profiles when moving molds is even more important. A vendor needs the meteorology tools and personnel to measure existing parts and molds and measuring and comparing new molds and parts to the model, engineering drawing, or parts being used in production.
Of course, all the upstream preparation needs down stream capacity and your vendor should have flexible capacity to meet your needs.
If your vendor has all of these elements available for your project, even impossible timelines become more manageable.
You don’t have to have an emergency to enjoy these resources, but it is nice to know the power is there if needed.
Send us your information, and we will send you a detailed list of the resources and experience waiting make your project a success!