Project at a Glance

End Product
X-ray machine
Plastic thermoforming for equipment panels
Healthcare Medical
Reduced Costs, Increased Aesthetics: Plastic Thermoforming for Medical Equipment

Reduced Costs, Increased Aesthetics: Plastic Thermoforming for Medical Equipment

Cost, quality, durability, and ease of assembly – thermoformed plastic parts for the healthcare industry
Profile Plastics combines cost-effective thermoforming with value-added services for a complete solution.    
Cost, quality, durability, and ease of assembly – plastic parts for the healthcare industry must meet many requirements. When a medical device OEM wanted a cost-effective way to produce strong, attractive, and ready-to-install plastic panels, the company turned to Profile Plastics for help.

Challenge: How do you reduce costs while improving quality, performance, and appearance?

The customer needed a supplier that could produce two highly visible side panels for an X-ray machine. Cost reduction was the most important consideration, but saving money couldn’t come at the expense of overall value.

Profile Plastics had thermoformed parts for this customer before, and previous cost-reduction efforts could be implemented for this new project. However, parts for the customer’s other products took a different approach to decoration, finishing, and assembly.

For this new project, the customer wanted to use graphic labels with proven resistance to chemicals and scratching. Profile suggested using these labels because of its experience with similar applications that require customized graphics.

One critical element when choosing a graphic label is the texture of the panels. Because the labels for this project would be applied to a textured plastic cover, the texture needed to be evaluated to ensure the labels would adhere properly.

“Many product development meetings were required to ensure each decision obtained input from both Engineering and Sourcing representatives.”

– Profile Plastics, Inc.

Solution: Solution: Partnering with a thermoformer who can produce plastic parts that meet multiple requirements and provide greater value.  

Profile Plastics reduced raw material costs by reducing the starting thickness of the material that was needed to produce these parts. Initially, this meant that the customer needed to prototype the reduced starting thickness of the material to ensure the final part thickness would meet its expectations.

Applying achievable part tolerances to the design was also a key consideration. By validating the plastic panels first, the customer could avoid subsequent tooling charges that would add costs and extend product development.

With large, flat parts like thermoformed panels, maintaining surface quality is important because any imperfections are readily visible. Profile Plastics met the customer’s surface-condition requirements, and while applying a 3D soft touch label to the recessed areas of panels.

These labels support screen or digital printing, feature a clear protective coating, and pass specific tests for chemical and scratch resistance. Profile Plastics ensured that each image was properly aligned within the part so the graphic would remain consistent from part to part during mass production.

Finally, when the thermoformed panels were complete, Profile Plastics shipped them to the customer’s assembly facility. The parts arrived ready to install and were free from defects

“Thermoforming requires various post processes to complete a plastic cover so ensuring the customer is aligned with each process and the limitations of these processes helps guarantee there are no surprises during the final stages of product development.”

– Profile Plastics, Inc.

Adding Value Through Collaboration

Reduced costs and improved aesthetics are just some of what you can achieve when you have the right partner. By working closely with Profile Plastics, their customer achieved the goal of cost reduction without any impact on the quality and aesthetics of their end product.