Thermoforming is a manufacturing process used to bend and shape plastic sheets into various forms and sizes. There are many various methods of thermoforming including heat bending, bending thermoplastic from sheets or from rolls, and vacuum forming. Thermoforming is a popular process at VKF Renzel used for many products made of materials such as PVC, PET, and Acrylic

The basic process that all methods of thermoforming go through is the heating of the thermoplastic material until it becomes pliable. Once softened, the plastic is then formed into the desired shape. Depending on the method, the forming can be done either through bending or with a vaccum. 

After the thermoplastic has been formed into the desired shape,  it is then cooled. Once cooled and hardened, the transformed plastic can then be trimmed and cut down to its desired lengths or final shape. 

Advantages of Thermoforming

  • Versatile
  • Cost-effective
  • Fast and Efficient
Thermoforming is a very versatile manufacturing process. It can be used on many different types of thermoplastics and can be used to create products with complex shapes and profiles. 

If wanting to produce large batches of a product, thermoforming is a process that can achieve speed and efficiency through machine automation. Compared to other manufacturing processes, all methods of thermoforming tends to produce less waste than other processes, making it more environmnetally friendly. 

Click here to learn more about the different thermoforming processes we use here at VKF Renzel

Bending from Sheets / Rolls

Here at VKF Renzel, we use a process the French call "Transformation", in order to produce products such as price labels, shelf edge strips, and pricing pockets. These products start out as plastic sheets that have been rolled onto a spool-like tool. The plastic sheet is then guided from the spool, through the machine, until the other end of the plastic sheet is placed into a part of the machine that pulls it through the whole machine system.

From the start, where the plastic is wrappen on the spool, the sheet is pulled through a part of the machine that heats the plastic. Depending on the product being made, the pattern of heating will change. Only the parts of the plastic sheet that need to be formed or bent will be heated. 

After it is heated, it is pulled further into a part of the machine that bends it. After the plastic is formed into its desired shape, it is pulled further into a cooling process. It is important that the product is cooled and hardened before any further process takes place. After the product has cooled, many further processes can take place, such as cutting, gluing, etc. 

Advantages of Bending from Sheets / Rolls

  • Speed and efficiency
  • can be individualised with print
  • set up for machines are faster and more cost-efficient
The set-up for the machine that processes thermoplastic in this method has much lower costs than other thermoforming machines. They are also easier to set up making this machine's set-up much faster. 

The speed of this method is also much faster than other thermoforming processes. This makes the manufacturing process much more efficient especially for larger quantity orders. Another advantage of this process is that the plastic product can be printed before hand, while it is still in sheet form. 

Examples of Products Made here at VKF Renzel using Bending from Sheets / Rolls

Heat Bending

Heat bending is a thermoforming manufacturing process, where the sheet of thermoplastic is set on a flat table surface to be heated and formed. This machine's table top has rods within it that can be set to different temperatures and time intervals. 

The different durations of time that the heating rod will be in contact with whichever material is to be moulded, is based on which plastic will be formed. PVC plastics, for example, heat faster than Acrylic does. This means that the rods will need to be in contact with the Acrylic longer than PVC, in order to bend them into their desired final form. The cooling phase also depends on the thickness of the material to be processed.

Once the material is heated and bendable, it can be bent with various tools. This thermoforming method is used for products such as leaflet holders, product dispensers, smart phone holder, and much more. 


Advantages of Heat Bending

  • Speed and Efficiency
  • improved appearance 
  • improve product quality
The manufacturing process of heat bending, is a process that bends the plastic in a way to make very stylish and attractively appealing edges. The rounded edges this method can produce leads to higher customer satifaction in product quality. 

This thermoforming process is also a very fast method of forming, where the bending can be done with different kinds of tools. This speed helps the efficiency of producing large orders that need to be manufactured and processed. 

Examples of Products Made here at VKF Renzel using Heat Bending

Vacuum Forming

Vaccum forming is a thermoforming process, which entails clamping a sheet of thermoplastic over a mould, and heating it until it is able to be shaped. Once pliable, the underside of the thermoplastic sheet is subjected to vacuum forces, pulling the sheet down onto the mould sitting underneath.

After it has been shaped into its desired form, it is then allowed to cool and be removed from the mould. After it has been removed from the mould, finishing touches such as trimming can help achieve the final look of the plastic product. 

Advantages of Vacuum Forming

  • Cost-effective
  • Speed
  • Versatile and customisable 
Vacuum forming is a manufacturing process that is a bit more cost-effective than processes such as injection moulding. The tools are more simple and the set-up costs are a bit lower, making it the more affordable option for small scale production runs. This method of thermoforming is also a fast one, taking only minutes to produce certain products.

This process can also be easily customised by using not only different types of plastic, but by incorporating different varnishes, textures and colours as well. Because so many different types of plastics can be vacuum formed, customisation can take other factors into account as well. These factors include flexibility, UV-resistance, transparency, and rigidity.

Examples of Products Made here at VKF Renzel using Vacuum Forming

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