Plastic Thermoforming

ABLE has decades of experience in the manufacturing of Thermoplastics, stemming from design of ABLE Body Sleeper Cabs from 1970s - 2000s. ABLE continued its application of Thermoplastics and Thermoforming to include vehicle interiors, dash boards, door panels, headliners, overhead consoles, marine consoles, storage lockers, tool bins and much more.

With the evolution of Thermoplastics materials for Mass Transit, ABLE can now provide a full range of interior components including:

Seating
Header Panels
Window Masks
Vestibule Panels
Side and Front Access Panels
Operator Console Panels
Trim, Armrests and More

Critical to the requirements of Mass Transit is ABLE's ability to meet stringent standards for both physical properties alongside Flame, Smoke and Toxicity properties, including:

ASTM D256 Impact Resistance of Plastics
ASTM D638 Tensile Properties of Plastics
ASTM D695 Compressive Properties of Rigid Plastics
ASTM D790 Flexural Properties of Unreinforced and Reinforced Plastics
ASTM D2583 Indentation Hardness by Means of a Barcol Impressor
ASTM E162 Surface Flammability of Materials Using a Radiant Heat Energy Source
ASTM E662 Specific Optical Density of Smoke Generated by Solid Materials
ASTM E1354 Heat and Visible Smoke Release Rates for Materials and Products Using an Oxygen Consumption Calorimeter
BSS 7239 Boeing Safety Standard for Toxic Gas Generation

Crane Carrier has ABLE Provide the Fully Dressed CAB for this Twin-Steer Refuse Vehicle. Numerous Plastic Thermoform Components Shown.

CTA5000 with ABLE window masks and interior panels.

ABLE Capabilities for Thermoformed Plastics

High productivity automated rotary equipment offers vacuum single sheet and twin sheet Thermoplastics.
5-Axis CNC and Hand Guide-type Trimming, Drilling, Tapping, Slotting.

Value Streams including: Complex Mechanical Assembly, Complex Electrical Assembly, HVAC, Lighting, Controls, Operator and Rider Displays, Safety Glass, In-House Metal Fabrication and much more.

Plastic Bonding including: inner skins, reinforcements, brackets, metal fabrication components, fiberglass and other dissimilar materials.

Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics (FRP) laminates for added structural integrity - utilizing ABLE's large composites capabilities a Thermoplastic can be combined with FRP to create an end product that has the very Best of Both Worlds - Plastics and Composites! Validation and 100% Testing including: 3rd party accredited lab testing to guarantee your specifications are met.

Decorative Acrylic including: outer skins and shells
Decorative Films including: Woodgrains, Chrome/Brushed/Satin Metallic, Carbon, Fabric Effects
Dupont Tedlar Anti-Graffiti Films and Schneller GT Decorative Films including Textures and Patterns

Class A Painted Finish - Our 5-Stage Paint System and Highly Skilled Paint Technicians can apply any color, any finish you can imagine. ABLE is a Dupont AXALTA certified provider with our own custom color mix laboratory and computer controlled dispensing equipment.

In-House Designed Tooling, Fixtures using Mastercam 5-Axis CAD/CAM, Thermwood 5-Axis High Speed Twin Platen CNC Routers, Full Tooling Shop with Class A Toolmakers ... all In-House.

ABLE has invested the capital, people, training, facility and inventory to be vertically integrated for molded plastic sheet goods used on the interior and exterior of our customer's product.

Utilizing Vacuum Thermoforming in-house, we provide a wide range of functional products as a value added service:

Dash Structure
HVAC Duct & Diffuser
Center Console Assembly
Instrument Gauge Panel & Molded Glove Box Door Assembly
Door Panels, Interior Panels, Headliner
Storage Compartments for Tools, Equipment, Materials, Personal Effects

ABLE Supplied Acrylic Gauge Cluster Housing with Instruments and Matching Glove Box Shown at Left.

This ABLE Produced Specialty Vehicle CAB uses Plastic Thermoformed Components Throughout.

ABLE Sleeper Cab Features Plastic Thermoformed Storage Product Solutions.

In-House Design, Engineering & Tooling

Another competitive advantage of ABLE is our in-house capabilities for Design Engineering and Tooling. Utilizing 3D CAD or 2D drawings, we can design the solid model, add features, compensate for material shrink or growth and go straight to cutting the patterns or mold tooling using our 5-Axis CNC Machining Centers.

5-Axis Thermwood CNC Machine Cutting Thermoform Mold. CAD model shown at right.

Production Capabilities

ABLE offers vacuum thermoforming capabilities of plastic sheet. Our large twin-platen thermoforming press (platens seen in red color) can produce complex shapes with fine detail due to the ability to bring both male and female dies to make simultaneous contact to the heated plastic sheet.

Trim tooling is also developed in-house to provide for guided hand trim or 5-Axis CNC Trim within our Plastic Thermoform manufacturing cell.

ABLE Associate Trims Door Grab Handles of Door Panel.

5-Axis CNC Thermwood Provides Complex Trim Operations of this Engine Breather

Watch this informative video of a CAB Door Panel being manufactured using Vacuum Thermoforming.

Just In Time

Our Plastic Thermoform business unit wholly supports final assembly. Our lead time is typically 6-8 weeks from release on a firm blanket purchase order.

Finished Door Panel Assembly includes Grab Handles, Window Cutouts and more. Watch the Video to See it Produced.

Request A Quote

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Additional Capabilities

Please select from the links below to learn about our other areas of expertise.