A manufacturer of large, heavy equipment had a problem. One of their equipment product lines had large metal belt guards that covered the drive belt.
The drive belt needed a daily inspection, and the metal belt guard weighed too much for one person to lift and remove.
In fact, it was so heavy that the crew needed to use a forklift to remove the cover to perform the required service.
To add to the challenge, the OEM wanted to debut the product with an improved design at a trade show in less than three months.
Thermoforming plastic parts was the answer with PCI’s in-house tooling and engineering support.
Converting an existing part made from metal to plastic for an OEM piece of equipment is not easy. There are specifications, testing, durability, and aesthetics, not to mention the issue of accessibility, that all need to be replicated and verified.
The steel belt guard required a replacement solution that was as rugged, impact-resistant, and as good-looking as the original. This part needed to include the logo and branding for the OEM to add to the challenge.
The solution was an impact-resistant ABS material that significantly met the performance requirements and reduced the part weight.
Thermoformed Design Outcomes include:
- Weight reduction from approximately 718 to 38 pounds
- Reduced time to service the belts
- One person could now remove the cover to service the belts
- Simplified the process of servicing the belts
- Cut in half the time needed to service the equipment
- First Article Prototypes were hand-delivered three weeks before the tradeshow
Partner With PCI for Your Custom Thermoformed Plastic Parts Needs
Thermoforming is a flexible and adaptable process used to create a wide range of components for many industries and applications.
At Plastic Components, Inc. (PCI), we specialize in designing and manufacturing large and heavy-duty thermoformed plastic components. We do not manufacture thin-gauge, small, or low-cost disposable plastic parts.
In addition to our thermoforming capabilities, we offer design assistance, tooling design, engineering, and assembly services to ensure we can provide the right solutions to our customers.
By partnering with us, compared to a stamped metal part, you will see the following:
- Faster tooling lead times
- Lower tooling costs
- Easier component installation and assembly
- Greater project efficiency and cost-effectiveness
- Better satisfaction with the final product solution
Contact us today to learn more about our thermoforming capabilities, or work with us on your next project.