Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is PCI?
  2. What is thermoforming?
  3. How can PCI help my company get started in thermoforming?
  4. What about training in extrusion and thermoforming?
  5. What type of material would be best for my project?
  6. Who should actually form the product?
  7. Can thermoformed plastics replace metal parts, paint, FRP, SMC, or Rim?
  8. Who are PCI Customers, or who can benefit from using PCI services?
  9. Can Thermoforming compete with other plastics forming methods?
  10. Is Thermoforming a growth industry?

1. Who is PCI?

PCI is a team that combines the expertise of Jay Waddell and other associates, each with decades of experience in the plastics industry.

PCI was created to help companies turn ideas into products while exploiting the expertise in thermoforming innovations, product development and production.

PCI can help with any or all of your design, selecting and sourcing of materials, locating production facilities, getting cost-effective tools and molds, and trouble-shooting throughout the manufacturing process.

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2. What is thermoforming?

Thermoforming is the process of heating, shaping, cooling and trimming thermoplastic sheet into products.

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3. How can PCI help my company get started in thermoforming?

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4. What about training in extrusion and thermoforming?

PCI has two ways it provides training in extrusion and thermoforming.

The first that is open to any who want to attend is with its hands-on and classroom Seminars on Advanced Heavy-Gauge Thermoforming which are offered at various locations around the country in an effort to make them convenient to the greatest number of people. The registrations are limited so that each seminar maximizes participant involvement.

The second is offered as part of its consulting services -- PCI develops a training program specific to your company and its needs and provides training on-site at the customerís facility.

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5. What type of material would be best for my project?

Selecting the proper material for your project can seem confusing, but, selecting the wrong material can be devastating. There is no one best material for any/all projects.

PCI will help you determine which material(s) will provide the best properties for your product (e.g. strength and processability, with chemical resistance, appearance, performance, etc.) as well as what is the best source for your material.

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6 . Who should actually form the product?

PCI can assist you in forming your own parts or we can help you find a qualified thermoformer to manufacture your parts. We will work with you or your formers if new techniques are needed to produce your products.

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7. Can thermoformed plastics replace metal parts, paint, FRP, SMC, or Rim?

YES! Plastic is increasingly becoming the material of choice for manufacturers in the transportation, marine and construction industries for its weatherability, long-life, recyclability, affordability even at low-volumes, low tooling costs, molded-in color, and more.

PCI can help you determine if thermoforming is a viable solution for you.

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8. Who are PCI customers, or who can benefit from using PCI services?

PCIís client base is made up of participants across all aspects of the thermoforming industry from resin manufacturers to sheet extruders, to thermoformers, large and small, to transportation OEMs and their Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, to entrepreneurs with new products to develop and market, to plastic formers who wish to enter the thermoforming arena.

Because so many of our projects are proprietary in nature, if you would like specific references, please contact us for that information.

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9. Can Thermoforming compete with other plastics forming methods?

YES! Thermoformed parts can now compete in markets once thought to be unfeasible.

Material suppliers and resin manufacturers are aggressively responding to the need to develop polymers specifically for the thermoforming process, thus allowing thermoformers to compete for these markets. Over the last decade, thermoforming machine technology, coupled with the latest in CNC trimming equipment, has advanced the speed, accuracy and repeatability of this process like never before.

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10. Is Thermoforming a growth industry?

YES! Thermoforming is a rapidly expanding industry with a growth rate of about 150% of the plastics industry, in general, which is growing at a rate of about 150% of the GNP.

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