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Thermoforming is a plastic forming process that forms pockets or “blisters” in plastic film or sheet. PVC is one common material but other materials are used as well. Thermoforms are used to package everything from small pharmaceutical tablets, to syringes, food products, electronics, tools and more. It has many advantages over other forms of packaging:
The thermoforming process can be done offline or inline. In both cases the forming process is the same.
Offline thermoforming makes the thermoforms at another location, often at a converter specializing in thermoforming. The formed plastic shells are brought to the packaging line and the product is loaded. Once loaded, the package is closed or lidded.
“Clamshells” are single piece thermoforms which incorporate both top and bottom in a single piece. Product is placed in the clamshell which is folded closed. Some clamshells incorporate buttons and recesses that allow the lid to be snapped closed. This gives the customer the ability to open and reclose the form as it is used. If additional security is desired, or a hermetic seal is desired, the two halves can be sealed closed by heat or sonic welding.
A variation of this is to provide separate top and bottom pieces which are assembled and snapped or welded together. This allows different materials or different colors, for example a black bottom and clear top, to be used. As they are two separate components it increases the number of SKUs and thus complexity of inventory.
Many thermoform packages have a paper, board, foil or plastic film lid or closure. These can also be produced offline. On the packaging line product is placed in the individual form, the closure placed on top and welded closed by the blister machine.
A semi-automated blister machine such as this Alloyd rotary sealer are available that can pull the thermoform from a magazine, place it in a fixture, position it for loading either manually or automatically then place and seal the top seal.
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Blister pack is a term for different types of pre-formed plastic packaging used for small consumer goods. The primary component of a blister pack is a cavity or pocket made from a formable web, usually a thermoformed plastic. It usually has a backing of paperboard or a lidding seal of aluminum foil or plastic. A blister that folds onto itself is called a clamshell.
Types of blister packs consist of carded packaging where consumer products are contained between a special made paperboard card and clear pre-formed plastic. The consumer can visually examine the product through the transparent plastic. The plastic shell is vacuum formed around a mold so it can contain the item snugly. The plastic shell is affixed to the card using heat and pressure to activate an adhesive on the blister card. The adhesive is strong enough so that the pack may ang on a peg, but weak enough so that the package can be easily opened. Frain can supply a blister machine like this in as little as 48 hours because we keep a large stock of equipment in-house at all times.
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