Three Ways to Identify a Good Thermoforming Company

Food packaging equipment

Are you researching thermoforming companies to create plastic clamshell packaging for your product? Imagine this: your product goes all the way through research and development. You get a stamp of approval from the Food and Drug Administration. You gather suppliers and production resources. You gather wholesale clients. Your product is going to be a hit.

You know that stock clamshell packaging won’t work for your product, you need custom thermoform packaging. However, you figure all thermoforming companies are equal and the food packaging containers are such a small part of your product; you don’t put much research into thermoforming companies before selecting one. You just choose the first option on a long list of thermoforming companies that Google gives you.

Unfortunately, the supplier you use for the packaging of your product misses promised time frames. Or their product is defective and you don’t want your name attached to it. You don’t want to delay the launch of your product waiting for the thermoforming to get up to standard, but you don’t have the money lying around to abandon the investment you made in them and find a new thermoforming packager. In order to avoid this unfortunate setup, make sure that you take the following considerations into consideration before choosing between thermoforming companies:

Three Things to Consider While Choosing Thermoforming Companies

  1. Experience

    Every thermoforming packaging project is unique, just as every company who orders thermoformed packages and every thermoforming company is unique. The trick is finding the thermoforming company who best aligns with the needs of your company and your particular custom project. Before choosing a supplier, make sure to ask the following questions:

    • How long have you been in business? If the thermoforming supplier has been around for years and years, it’s a good sign that they know a thing or two about how to keep their clients happy. Their experience is also a sign that they’ve seen your product needs before, and will know how to meet them.

    • Do you have experience in my industry? Although every thermoforming product is different, if the supplier works in your industry, they’ll be aware of the challenges and regulations that you’re dealing with.
    • Do you have examples of products that are similar to mine? There’s no better way to know that your project is in good hands than being able to look at and touch clamshell packaging similar to what you’re looking for that the supplier has created for other clients.

  2. Expertise

    You might know your product backwards and forwards, but you aren’t an expert on thermoforming; you’ll have to trust the thermoforming manufacturer with that. A few good questions that will help you gauge their level of expertise include:

    • Will your company work with me from design concept to completion? Many thermoforming decisions should be made at the concept phase, you need to know that you’ll have a thermoforming expert from start to finish.

    • Do you have in-house engineering and design staff? You don’t just want promises, you want to hear credentials of the people handling your project.
    • What material is best suited for my application? This is an indication of how well the manufacturer will partner with you to make sure your project is successful.
  3. Tooling

    In addition to know that the humans working on your project are equipped to guide your thermoforming packaging order to success, you want to know that the equipment that actually creates the packaging is good quality. Poor quality tools will create a range of problems for you. You’ll have a greater chance of coming across defective products when cheap tools are used. Any rework that you’ll have to do will increase your production costs and reduce your profit margins; especially if the whole batch has to be thrown away and a new thermoforming supplier has to be found. All of these issues will drag out lead times, and as an entrepenuer, you know that time is money. Before choosing a thermoforming supplier, take a tour of the facilities ask about the tooling material, the temperature controls, the trimming equipment, and assembly process. You want to feel confident that your project is in good hands.

Do you have any other questions about choosing a thermoforming packaging supplier? Please share in the comment section.