CW Thomas of Philadelphia is a specialty vacuum thermoformer, using a process that drapes a heated plastic sheet over a mold and applies a vacuum to shape the part. Once cooled, the part is ready for finishing.
From there, CW Thomas, now in its 71st year of business, manages any required assembly, CNC trimming, pad printing, silk screening, custom art, and texturing among other finishing processes, such as dock to stock for packaging to consumers, bar coding, instruction sheets, additional parts, inspection and fulfillment.
“For 70 years, we’ve perfected a precision engineering and custom plastic thermoforming process that is unrivaled. Through deep collaboration, our innovative engineering team ensures a superior finished product,” CW Thomas said on its website.
The firm is ISO 9001: 2008 certified, as well as AS 9100C certified. The company’s engineers support customer designs through a variety of computer design tools, including Solidworks, Surfcam and IGS file transfer formats, among others.
“In addition to producing tooling in-house, our engineering staff explores opportunities for product enhancements and improvements that can help minimize costs throughout the manufacturing process,” CW Thomas said on its website. “Our experienced design team monitors the tooling construction to ensure product success.”
CW Thomas works in a variety of plastics, including ABS, HIPS, HDPE, PP, TPO, Acrylic, PVC, Kydex, Boltaron, PC, PETG, PEI, and PPSU.
CW Thomas describes vacuum thermoforming this way, “Vacuum forming is one of the most widely used methods of thermoforming, a common alternative to injection molding. It’s a truly cost-effective process perfect for producing low volume, large sized parts at a price that makes sense.”
The process continues. “The advantages of vacuum forming as an alternative to injection molding is the ability to form large parts without costly equipment and tooling, low cost mold and design revisions, ease of manufacturing large quantities, and the ability to create padded foam filled or laminated parts.”