Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thermoforming in Hampton, South Carolina

Did you know that we have thermoforming facility in South Carolina????

The headquarters for our Heavy Gauge Thermoforming operations are located in Dale, Indiana.  We also have an established facility in Hampton, South Carolina.  This has provided convenience and access for our customers in the southern states.

We feel it is important to serve our customers, and in 2008 we were able meet their needs by purchasing another facility in South Carolina.  When dealing with Heavy Gauge plastic products logistics often becomes a point of concern.  Being closer to our customers in the south has allowed them to reduce their logistic costs.  We simply extrude the plastic sheet at our facility in Dale, Indiana, and ship the plastic sheet to our Hampton, South Carolina facility to be thermoformed.  This facility continues to allow us to be that single supplier, but yet reduces shipping costs for our customers in the southern and eastern states.

Our thermoforming facility in Hampton, South Carolina is located only 4 hours away from Atlanta, Georgia. It takes less than a half an hour to access I-95 from our Hampton, South Carolina facility.  Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia are less than 2 hours away from our facility as well.

Francis Hirt
If location is key to your business then speak with Francis Hirtour Southeastern Regional Sales Manager @ 931.680.0879

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thermoformed Plastic Enclosures - How to make them Stronger!

Thermoformed plastic enclosures fall into many categories from outhouses, storage sheds, underground equipment, deer blinds, tool boxes, and all the way to large cabins for utility vehicles.

Many of these I have listed are larger plastic enclosures.  So the question is...
    "How in the world do you make plastic enclosures stronger?"
                    Simple... Use Twin Sheet Thermoforming

When using Heavy Gauge plastic it is possible to increase the structural strength of those thermformed plastic enclosures by using the Twin Sheet Thermoforming method.  Twin sheet thermoforming is the heating of two extruded plastic sheets simultaneously, and then forming and sealing or fusing these two sheets together during the thermoforming process. 

When using Twin Sheeting this produces a hollow part.  Inside this hollow part separate components can be placed inside before or after the plastic enclosure is formed.  This could be needed to add strength, for mounting purposes, aesthetic looks, or could be just a creative idea your company has.  This hollow part could also be foam filled to insulate or reduce noise.

There are many outdoor thermoformed plastic enclosures that incorporate doors or lids.  When dealing with hinges in outdoor plastic structures consider the effect that weather has on a metal hinge.  Why not try a Thermoformed Plastic living Hinge if you already have a Twin Sheet Thermoformed part.

There are so many opportunities out there in the world of Plastic Enclosures.  There are many ways to make plastic stronger, and more durable.  It takes a good innovative idea to make things happen.

Spencer Industries Inc. has engineers working directly with our customers, and with the operators forming the parts on the shop floor.  Our engineers have the manufacturing experience to tailor your design to optimize the performance, price and tooling costs for your plastic thermoformed enclosure.  You better believe that they love a good challenge, and we love to see our customers succeed!

If you have a plastic enclosure question please don't hesitate to call us  800-937-4561  ext. 225 .

               We are not afraid to try new ideas!

                                 We know our Heavy Gauge Plastic!

                                                    We have 30+ years in experience!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thermoforming Emergency 911 - We Need Parts NOW!

Emergencies happen for all sorts of reasons but getting your parts on time at the needed quality level requires resources. Make sure your vendors, current or potential, can move at the fastest possible speed to support your needs.

Do they have Internal Sheet Extrusion?

  • Internal sheet extrusion puts the thermoformer in charge of sheet quality, production schedules, color conformance, and material choices that meet your needs. If your product is supported by external sheet sources, your options or your timing will be limited.

Do they have fast tool turn-around?

  • New tooling requires a little lead time.  Tooling times on new or replacement molds are critical to delivery timing: Any good supplier will have more than one tooling vendor with more than one fabrication method.
  • Tool deliveries in four weeks are common, and if needed, two to three weeks may be possible.  Many thermoforming molds are cast, but when needed for tolerances or other characteristics, machined tools are also great for thermoforming.  Special customizations may also drive the delivery time of a tool.
  • 24 hours turn around on take over and new tools.  With proper planning Spencer Industries has the ability to start producing parts 24 hours after the tool has been received.  An experienced in-house staff of toolmakers, across three shifts, and inhouse extrusion are major assets to making best use of available time.  Nearby tooling vendors are other valuable resource in overcoming issues and solving problems.

Do they have 3d Modeling?

  • 3D modeling is a MUST HAVE! Lead times are triggered by supplying the tool vendor with the tool design or a model from which the vendor can design a mold. Look for a vendor with high end 3d modeling, and mold design protocols for cooling lines, vacuum hole sizes and placements, and other details that gets the tool maker cutting chips faster and improves results in forming without delaying deliveries. Vendors who provide the tool design, cuts one step from the process. Your vendor should be totally responsible for the project, including the tool design.
  • Ability to Pre-build CNC fixtures using the 3d model  while a mold is being built is a major time saver. Building and adjusting fixtures in house is a major advantage in reaching first part trimming. A lean, streamlined vendor can put this in motion to meet quick deliveries.

Can they provide Quality?

  • Mold and part conformance to your designs and prints are crucial determinations in making a new part perform. Repeating current part profiles when moving molds is even more important. A vendor needs the meteorology tools and personnel to measure existing parts and molds and measuring and comparing new molds and parts to the model, engineering drawing, or parts being used in production.

Of course, all the upstream preparation needs down stream capacity and your vendor should have flexible capacity to meet your needs.

If your vendor has all of these elements available for your project, even impossible time lines become more  manageable.

You don’t have to have an emergency to enjoy these resources, but it is nice to know the power is there if needed. 
Send us your information, and we will send you a detailed list of the resources and experience waiting make your project a success!!
 If you have an immediate need, call 812-937-4561
Dennis @ ext 225


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thermoforming in the Central Time Zone in Indiana

Here in Southern Indiana our time zones are so close you can drive a few miles down the road and be in a different time zone. I'm not kidding either take a look for yourself --> Indiana Time Zones!

Here at Spencer Industries Inc. we operate on the Central Time Zone CST. I just want to clarify this because we have so many people ask. I thought maybe posting it in a blog would help get the word out.

So... if you need a Thermoforming supplier that operates near the Central Time zone you have found your Thermoformer!! 

Our office hours are 7:00 am - 4:30 PM CST.

Our Thermoformers & Extrusion lines run 24 hrs x 5 days / week
            .. sometimes more if a customer has a deadline to meet.

We are probably one of the most flexible Thermoformers you will ever work with!
note:  A big thank you to Joe for letting me take a picture of his AWESOME clock for the blog article even though it does say Kentucky on it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Consider Color.. When Changing Metal over to Plastic Thermoforming

When considering converting Metal products over to plastic products be sure to take color into consideration.  This should be one of the things on the list when determining if Plastic is the right solution for you!
  • Avoid the extra cost painting metal by choosing from a variety of plastic color options.

  • Tons of Color Options.... Most plastics can be colored across the palette to deliver your particular color needs and part appearance.

  • Plastic ABS, Polystyrene, Acrylic, TPO, Polyethylene, Luran, and Centrex can be colored and have various gloss and textures as well, which broadens the performance choices.

  • Co-extrusion provides additional color combinations that can provide gloss or matte finishes by using different but compatible polymers in layers with each layer having its own appearance.

  • ABS plastic capped with a weatherable polymer has been a long standing choice for outdoor applications while TPO plastic, a new polymer offers performance, low thermal expansion and contraction rates, and resists long term weathering as well.

  • Camo & Brushed Aluminum Films - If you like a Camo or special look like Brushed Aluminum, these too can be attained by laminating cap films during the sheet extrusion process to further expand the possibilities, and while Microban is not a color, this antimicrobial additive can also be incorporated in the cap or caps of the sheet.

  • All of these plastic sheet choices are extruded at Spencer Industries Inc. for our thermoforming customers, providing faster deliveries and truly custom choices.

  • Polycarbonate, PVC , glass filled TPO, Kydex, and Senosan sheets are purchased for applications as needed.
These options provide the material for thermoforming parts that might be substituted for metal, saving weight and eliminating painting in your applications. 
If you have more questions about Color options for Thermoformed Plastic please email us .

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cost Savings - Converting Metal or Fiberglass parts to Plastic… Consider This….

In the world of thermoforming converting both cosmetic and structural parts from metal or fiberglass to plastic can be a great cost savings. Metal parts such as a large tool box, fenders for a vehicle, cowls, and SUV Vehicle Roofs would be great candidates to consider for this change. These changes could also improve the part’s performance, esthetic look, and durability as well as providing a cost savings.

Consider … Color
Avoid painting Metal or Fiberglass by using a colored plastic.

Consider… Durability & Product Life
Metal parts can become rusty or pitted. Metal can also show hail damage. TPO can provide U.V. Stability.

Consider…. Extra Hardware
Plastic can be molded using methods and techniques that could reduce the need for metal hinges, and hardware. This could also in turn reduce the need for assembly labor.

Consider.. Appearance
Acrylic capped sheet can rival the appearance of gel coated fiberglass. New materials like TPO can provide U.V. stability. Films can also be applied to plastics to make it appear they are metal, or films such as Camouflage patterns can be applied to give a more unique cosmetic appeal.

Consider… Strength
There are methods available such as Twin Sheet Thermoforming, and mechanically inserting supports as the plastic is molded. It is possible to design radii and ribs that are not practical in metal, foam filling, and material choices for different specific performance issues.

Consider.. Shipping Weight
Metal parts tend to weigh much more than plastics parts.

Don’t let plastic fool you! When considering the change from Metal or Fiberglass over to plastic keep an open mind. The key is to think outside the box, and to have an engineer that will listen and make it happen!