Thermoforming specialist
for nearly 40 years

A thermoforming specialist for 40 years, the GROUPE MAILLARD INDUSTRIE (GMI) and its subsidiary ITS provide technical support for constructors working in a wide variety of sectors, in the design and manufacture of simple parts or more complex functions by means of thermoforming. In combination with other technologies in which we have expertise, such as welding, rotomoulding or polyurethane, GMI is able to deliver complete functions.

From design to industrialisation and production, GMI has all the human and technical skills required to find the right solutions for your projects, both in terms of technical parts and plastic sub-assembles as well as for aesthetic parts.

GMI integrates the design and manufacture of prototype and serial moulds and tools into its industrial facilities.

Expertise and skills in thermoforming

Integrated design office


Tool manufacturing


Thicknesses from 2 to 15 mm


2200 x 3000 x 600 mm capacity


All thermoplastics


Large capacity oven


5- axes Machining Centres


Finishing, Assembly,
assembly of complementary functions


Recycling

Stages of your bespoke project

 Les étapes de votre de thermoformage

  • 1

    Specification / Ecodesign by our design office

  • 2

    Prototype – Tools – Certification

  • 3

    Series production

  • 4

    Finishing, Assembly

  • 5

    Delivery

Our thermoforming savoir-faire

Production of simple or complex parts, in small to large series

GMI demonstrates its technical expertise in shaping plastics by thermoforming by offering a complete, overall solution.

Its industrial process guarantees conformity of parts, safeguards deadlines and optimises productivity.

In combination with other technologies in which the Group has expertise ( welding, rotomoulding or polyurethane), GMI is able to deliver entire projects.

Design office

Equipped with the latest software packages for CAD data processing (CATIA V4 / V5, Solidworks software…), the design office provides flexible, responsive support for all your thermoforming projects.

Thermoforming tools

Working directly with the design office, the Tools division creates the thermoforming moulds (CADM).

These moulds are generally made:

— In medium or machinable board mainly used for prototyping
— In stratified resin or monobloc
— In machined aluminium
— Modular tools
— Tools with movable elements
— Regulated tools

The Tools department is responsible for managing moulds and draws up the maintenance plans for recommencing production at a later stage. Tools that are not being used in production are stored in a secure site.

 

Thermoforming machines

We are able to accept all projects thanks to a comprehensive fleet of machines.

Large-scale automatic and semi-automatic thermoforming machines are able to produce simple or technical parts measuring 3000 x 2200 mm/ Max forming height 600 mm.

Preparation of the material

To offer its customers high quality products, GMI has invested in a large capacity oven which is used to prepare the thermoplastic before forming.

Machining

After thermoforming, the parts are sent to computer controlled 5-axes machining centres which are able to perform any type of machining or technical profiling combining precision, quality, repeatability and productivity.

Finishing

A finishing workshop completes installations and oversees controls and assembly: gluing, ultrasonic welding; marking – screen-printing- painting, riveting, assembly of accessories and insets…

Storage and logistics

The parts produced in our factories are stored in secure warehouses before shipping.

For products requiring regular, JIT transport, GMI oversees bespoke procurement logistics.

Recycling

GMI oversees the return and processing of thermoformed parts at end of life in its own recycling centre and issues a recycling certificate.

A few examples of our thermoforming work

Thermoformed parts are used in many sectors

Agricultural machinery

IMG_9643 détourée
capot
IMG_4532

Industry

Thermoformage piscine
IMG_0063
thermoformage industrie
92030018
Plateau manutention - Thermoformage automobile
Capot thermoformé

Medical-hospital

Coque siège thermoformée
emboiture medicale thermoformee
plateau de manutention
IMG_0092
cache roue thermoformé pour lit médicalisé

POS / Brand advertising

PLV Thermoformage

Aeronautic - Rail

Flasque protecteur turbine thermoformé

Special vehicles

920300150

Special machines

IMG_9660
Capotage machine thermoformé

Handling platforms

Plateau de manutention thermoformé
Plateau manutention thermoformé automobile

  • The thermoforming principle

    From the sheet to the part

    Thermoforming is a moulding technique that consists of taking a plastic sheet, heating it to soften it and then taking advantage of this malleable state to shape it in a mould.


    thermoformage étape 0

     

    Stage 0 : A mould is placed on a mould tray which can be moved on a vertical axis on the inside of the machine crate.


    thermoformage étape 1

     

    Stage 1 : A thermoplastic sheet, of variable thickness, is positioned and then restrained on a frame which ensures the sealing of the crate containing the mould.

     


    thermoformage étape 2

     

    Stage 2 : Infra-red, ceramic or halogen electrical panels heat the sheet from one side and the other until it reaches the right temperature for shaping, which can vary depending on the type of material and the thickness of the sheets.

     


    thermoformage étape 3

     

    Stage 3 : Once the optimum thermoforming temperature has been reached, the panels withdraw and the sheet, which has softened with the effect of the heat, is injected with air to stretch it (bubbling operating which can be more or less pronounced) The mould is then moved into the upper position to form the part.


    thermoformage étape 4

     

    Stage 4 : A vacuum pump is then used to evacuate the air between the mould and the sheet so that the sheet can be stretched and held in place against the mould.


    thermoformage étape 5

     

    Stage 5 : The sheet is then cooled naturally by exposure to air with the help of fans and/or by regulating the mould. When the part has cooled sufficiently, it can be removed from the mould without risk of deformation or sticking. This stage is very important as it impacts the dimensional adjustment of the sides. The thermoformed parts can then be sent to the finishing workshops.


     

  • The advantages of thermoforming

    Thermoforming technology has many benefits:

    — Competitive small and medium series process compared with traditional technologies
    — Possibility of making large parts
    — Quick to put into production
    — Large production runs using multi-cavity moulds
    — Low tooling costs
    — Over moulding of inserts
    — Recyclable
    — Technical machining
    — Accessories assembly
    — Marking, screen-printing

  • Materials used in thermoforming

    The GROUPE MAILLARD INDUSTRIE sources thermoplastics (thermoforming sheets & boards) from leading European chemists in order to offer its customers a large selection of materials and to guarantee traceability and outstanding quality.

    The R&D division works in partnership with plastics processing laboratories and research centres to develop special thermoform materials that fulfil specific criteria: anti-fire standards, chemical permeability, defence, environmental and food quality standards.

    Experience in thermoforming makes GMI a proactive partner able to guide you in choosing the perfect material for your project.

     

    A range of additives can be added to create many different properties in your part:

    — Heat, UV and shock resistance
    — Mechanic resistance
    — Chemical resistance
    — Anti-scratch
    — Anti-static
    — Antibacterial
    — Etc…

     

    The main plastics used at GMI

    — HDPE
    — PS
    — PP
    — PC
    — PET
    — PMMA
    — ABS
    — Alloy (ABS-PMMA / ABS-PC…)

    Variants are possible in multi-layers:
    — Co-extrusion (ABS-PMMA / ABS-TPU…)

     

Find out more about our other areas of expertise in plastics processing