This is an extract from an article by Kenrick Van Hoek from Batelaan Kunstoffen Netherlands.
I am Kenrick, CEO of a thermoforming company in the Netherlands and would like to share my search for a new thermoforming machine manufacturer.
The thermoform market (+-16 billion turnover) is a relatively small market compared to the total plastic market worldwide (+-650 billion turnover) but it is rapidly expanding. Because of the low mould cost and quick ‘time to market’ the technique becomes more and more popular with designers and engineers.
” But this brings a problem: thermoforming machine manufacturers can not keep up with demand ”
Due to the success of the technique and the prosperous economic situation a lot of vacuum forming machine builders have a two year waiting list would you like to buy a machine.
The European market identifies 3 main thermoform machine builders:
The companies named above are all specialist in the field of thermoforming but can currently not keep up with the market demand for thermoforming machines.
How to select an industrial thermoforming machine manufacturer
As CEO of a big thermoforming company myself, I was challenged to find another trustworthy supplier for our thermoform machines. This search let me to more than 10 different thermoform machine builders worldwide. None of these companies could however answer to what I requested.
” I could not find a reliable thermoform machine ”
- With a delivery time of less than 16 weeks
- That uses universal parts so my company is not depended on 1 supplier for spare parts
- That lets my engineers set up the machine under two hours
- Where my engineers can control the heating very precisely per zone
- With a proven design made by a company with 30+ years experience
- Where the essential parts are from A-brands2
I almost gave up on finding a machine builder which could provide exactly this. I almost ordered a 380.000 euro machine with Geiss and almost accepted a two year waiting list.
” Until I found this company I almost ordered a Geiss machine ”
BMW or Mazda?
I must admit, companies like Geiss offer the very best quality of thermoforming machines, these machines are like BMW’s. They are reliable and fast but expensive. That is why these machines used to be the machines of choice for my company, until I realized that not every product required a ‘BMW Badge’ to produce the results we needed.
I realized a ‘Mazda’ would offer our company sufficient quality, reliability and speed to go up against my competitors and would cost me only half the money.
What makes a thermoforming machine manufacturer expensive
” I will not buy a thermoforming machine if the essential parts are not A-brands ”
For example I really prefer a thermoform machine to have Elstein heaters, Bush pumps, Festo cylinders and Servo motors. These parts are however not the main reasons that a thermoforming machine often costs + 300.000 euro. It is the labor cost that goes into building a machine that makes it so expensive. That’s why I found the solution with this company, they have such a professional and automated process that they can offer high quality thermoforming machines at almost half the price.
Original Article, click here.