MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.—Productive Plastics, a contract manufacturer of heavy gauge plastic thermoformed products, has released a process comparison guide to help manufacturers and engineers choose the right manufacturing process for their project. The company developed its Plastic Thermoforming and Injection Molding Comparison and Selection Guide to assist original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), design engineers, and anyone considering the use of heavy gauge plastic thermoforming, versus injection molding, for production of their products.

In addition to providing overviews of the injection molding and plastic thermoforming processes, the guide covers topics such as tooling investment; per part manufacturing, volume, and lead time considerations; and the impact of part size on process selection. It also discusses material considerations, surface finishing, and design and technical issues.

“Deciding between plastic thermoforming and injection molding for manufacturing a product or part can be complicated, with many factors to consider,” said John Zerillo, principal and vice president of sales for Productive Plastics, in a company release. “Productive Plastics’ accumulated knowledge and experience embodied in this guide helps clarify the selection criteria and process advantages to help readers make informed decisions.”

Thermoforming is the plastic production process that heats a two-dimensional rigid thermoplastic sheet and uses vacuum, 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), aerospace, industrial equipment, medical devices, kiosks, and many types of plastic enclosures.

The guide can be downloaded in PDF format, free of charge, from the Productive Plastics website:

Productive Plastics (, headquartered in Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, manufactures thermoformed plastic components via the pressure thermoforming and vacuum forming processes. The company makes heavy gauged thermoformed parts for the medical equipment, transportation, kiosk, industrial, and plastic enclosure markets.

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