Custom Thermoformed Packaging
We have a healthy mix of in-house and outsourced packaging engineers and technicians that each bring over 35 years’ experience delivering end-to-end custom thermoformed packaging solutions. Keep reading to learn more about our process… If this is the first time you’re looking for packaging, we know all these technical terms can make your head spin! Our goal is to make your quest for the perfect packaging as easy as possible, so let’s start with the basics. If you’re an old hand at this packaging stuff, just skip on down past the bullets:
• Packaging made by thermoforming uses rollstock sheets of material, like bioplastic, which is heated and formed into a specific shape, like a clamshell container or a cupcake package. In some cases, you might hear people use the term “vacuum forming”, which is similar and sometimes used interchangeably with thermoforming. Vacuum forming can be helpful in some circumstances if the package requires extra level of detail. Thermoforming is a specialty of ours, and we’ve got capabilities with both methods, depending on what your design requires. 🙌🏻
• Injection molding is usually used to manufacture durable, rigid plastic jars, tubs and containers like skincare and make-up screw-cap jars and tubes and re-usable food storage containers. We’ve got some bioplastics resins that are suitable for injection molding and outsourced manufacturing partners who produce injection molded parts. Just be aware that the process to design and manufacture a custom injection molded package can be quite costly, and the order commitment levels can be quite high. If you’re just starting out, we recommend considering either a readily available item or whether you might be able to work with a thermoformed design. That’s not saying we can’t help, but want to make sure you walk in with eyes wide open. 😀
• Blow molding is used most frequently to create plastic bottles by blowing the plastic material into a mold to coat the surface of the mold in the desired shape. Similar to injection molding, the costs to customize a design and produce the required mold can be quite high. Again, if you’re just getting started, you may want to consider a regularly stocked item until you can forecast demand for your product.
OK… Enough of the chit-chat and let’s get straight to how this is going to work already!
Information gathering: We first need to understand as much as possible about what you’re looking to produce and how much packaging you’re expecting you’ll need.
If you’re looking to replace your current petroleum-based thermoformed packaging with a sustainable plant-based option, we’ll want to understand your current packaging design and what you love (and don’t love) about it. We’ll also want to understand the timelines you have in mind to make the switch so that we organize our design timelines accordingly. If you’re able to share drawings of your existing packaging, even better to get us started on the right track.
If this is for a new item you’re launching, we’ll need to understand what the product is, its size/quantity and any ideas you have about how you’ve envisioned it being packaged (cocktail napkins accepted, but technical drawings highly appreciated!). We’ll also need to know the conditions that your packaged product will be subjected to – for example, does it need to be freezer safe, is it shipped or stored in hot climates or does it need to be tamper evident. Based on your information, we’ll be able to recommend a manufacturing process and plant-based material that may be suitable for your application.
If this all sounds good, fill out the form at the bottom of the page and a member of our team will assess the technical feasibility and then reach out to follow up with any additional questions, develop a custom quote based on the most effective manufacturing method for your packaging and confirm next steps. Timelines to complete and deliver custom packaging can vary greatly depending on the complexity of the design, the chosen materials and review cycles, so we’ll want to discuss those with you early in the process to make sure we’re all aligned.
Design and Development: Once we’re all signed off on the next steps, our engineers will get started on technical drawings as the first step in developing prototype samples. You’ll be able to review these drawings at every step of the journey to make sure we all stay on the right track. Once final engineering drawings have been approved by you, we’ll produce a prototype mold and ultimately prototype samples for you to review and approve.
Production: Once you’ve approved prototype samples, we’ll make a final production mold and share production samples with you to ensure everything’s performing as expected. With your final approval, it’s pedal to the metal on your way to kicking fossil fuels to the curb! We’ll now get your first production order on the machines and out the door to you.