Material Handling Trays for Automotive Industry using Vacuum Forming

India- a country thriving on "Jugaad" - finding cheaper alternative methods to achieve the 80% of the results. In my weekly post, I'll be show-casing stories around Indian Manufacturing

Material Handling has always been a challenge for a manufacturer. Even if the parts are manufactured with the best practice, if they are not handled properly during transportation- it results in part defects and rejections.

One such story was that of an automotive part supplier - the company used to deliver the wheel rims to the automotive manufacturer in wooden crates. But this caused the rims to bang against the walls of the box during the bumps on the way from the part supplier's factory to the automotive manufacturing plant.

20% of his parts were always damaged during the transportation and he had to come up with a solution. He quickly looked at Plastic Processing Technologies around him which could help him. He approached a Plastics Processing Company in India which had the manufacturing capability of processing plastics using technologies like Injection Molding, Roto Molding and Thermoforming.

The Plastics Processing Company analysed this problem and came up with a solution using Thick Sheet Thermoforming. This is what they came up with - an HDPE based Material Handling Tray that snaps the rims so that it doesn't move at all during the transportation. The plus point was the mould cost was not as high as the injection molding one and the turn-around time was quicker too.


The Plastics Processing Company could manufacture this part using Machinecraft's PF1 Thermoforming Machine which can process Thermoplastics like ABS, HIPS, HDPE/LDPE and PC from 2 mm to 12 mm thickness.

The tray decreased the rejects from 20% to 0%. The production of the material handling tray can be seen in the video below

The machine in this video is Machinecraft's PF1 Series with forming area 1500 mm x 2000 mm and max. depth 500 mm. For more information on the machine, click here.