MT. LAUREL, N.J.—Productive Plastics, a contract manufacturer of heavy-gauge plastic thermoformed parts, has developed and released a new design guide for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), design engineers, and others who are considering the use of heavy gauge plastic thermoforming—as an upgraded replacement for fiberglass—to manufacture their products. The report, a comparison and conversion guide for “upgrading fiberglass to plastic thermoforming,” offers process overviews of fiberglass and plastic thermoforming, as well as tooling and process comparisons, weight considerations, and insights on material performance.

“This new fiberglass-to-plastic thermoforming guide can really provide some assistance to customers and prospects as they consider different material and manufacturing technology,” said Evan Gilham, COO of Productive Plastics, in a press release. “The guide summarizes a lot of Productive Plastics’ accumulated knowledge and experience gained over decades of providing plastic thermoforming services and many projects converting fiberglass parts to plastic thermoformed components for our customers.”

Thermoforming is the plastic production process that heats a two-dimensional rigid thermoplastic sheet and uses vacuum or pressure, or both, to form that sheet into a three-dimensional shape. Productive Plastics’ core competency is in cut-sheet heavy gauge thermoforming, with sheet materials ranging from 0.060 to 0.500 inch thick. Typical applications for custom heavy-gauge thermoformed components include transportation (rail cars, buses, and trucks), industrial equipment, medical device, kiosks, and many types of plastic enclosures.

The design guide can be downloaded in PDF format from the Productive Plastics website at Further information comparing plastic thermoforming to fiberglass can be found at

Productive Plastics (, headquartered in Mt. Laurel, N.J., and established in 1955, offers thermoformed plastic components produced via pressure thermoforming and vacuum forming. The company is a contract manufacturer of heavy-gauge thermoformed parts for the medical equipment, transportation, kiosk, industrial, and plastic enclosure markets.

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