How Does The Thermoforming Process Work With an Automated Thermoforming Machine?

Posted by Chela Mancuso

Thermoforming is a widely used manufacturing process that involves heating a plastic sheet to a moldable temperature and forming it into various shapes using molds or dies. Thermoforming has become an incredibly popular option and with the advent of automated thermoforming machines, the manufacturing and packaging process has become even more efficient and cost-effective. The thermoforming process might seem intimidating if you don’t know what it is, but it’s a simple and cost-effective solution for any manufacturing and packaging company, no matter their size or production output. 


The thermoforming process begins with a plastic sheet, typically made of plastics made from polymer resins that become homogenized when heated. This sheet is fed into the automated thermoforming machine, where it transforms from just a plastic sheet into a mold. 

  1. Heating: The plastic sheet is heated in an oven or using infrared heaters until it reaches a temperature where it becomes pliable.
  2. Forming: Once the plastic sheet reaches the needed temperature, it is moved to the forming station, where it is pressed against a mold or a series of molds using vacuum pressure or mechanical force. The mold shapes the plastic into the desired form, taking into account details such as curves, corners, and textures. 
  3. Cooling: After the plastic has been formed into the desired shape, it is cooled to regain its rigidity. This can be achieved through a variety of methods depending on the product. 
  4. Trimming: Once the plastic has cooled and solidified, excess material is trimmed off using cutting or trimming tools. This ensures clean edges and precise dimensions for the final product.


Thermoforming offers numerous advantages over other manufacturing processes, making it a popular choice for packaging and product manufacturing. Some key benefits include:

  1. Cost-effective: Thermoforming is a cost-efficient process, especially for large-scale production. It can help businesses decrease their overhead labor costs, and saves a lot of money in the long run. 
  2. Versatility: Thermoforming allows for a wide range of shapes and sizes, accommodating various product designs and packaging requirements. It’s especially beneficial for industries wrapping products that are large or irregularly shaped. 
  3. Quicker production: With automated thermoforming machines, the process can be streamlined and automated, resulting in faster production cycles and increased productivity. This is particularly advantageous for high-volume production runs.

What Products Are Packaged With Thermoforming Machines? 

Thermoforming machines are used to package a diverse range of products across industries. Some common examples include:

  1. Food Packaging: Thermoforming machines are extensively used for producing food packaging, and have the ability to create custom shapes and sizes which makes it ideal for packaging fruits, vegetables, meat, baked goods, and other food items.
  2. Medical and Pharmaceutical Products: Thermoforming machines are used to manufacture sterile and secure packaging for medical devices, drugs, and equipment. 
  3. Consumer Goods: Many consumer products, such as electronics, toys, cosmetics, and household items, are packaged using thermoforming machines. The process provides protective and visually appealing packaging solutions that enhance product presentation and shelf appeal.

Want To Learn More About The Thermoforming Process And Your Packaging Process To The Next Level?

The thermoforming process, when paired with automated thermoforming machines like those offered by AMAC Technologies, offers a reliable and efficient method for producing a wide variety of products. From food packaging to medical devices and consumer goods, thermoforming provides versatility, cost-effectiveness, and rapid production capabilities. As technology continues to advance, automated thermoforming machines will likely play an increasingly crucial role in various industries, enabling manufacturers to meet the demands of the market while maintaining high-quality packaging standards. If you are interested in learning more about thermoforming, get in touch with AMAC Technologies today. We have over 40 years of experience in the industry and are a trusted name in manufacturing and packaging equipment.