At Medallion, we are constantly updating and improving our manufacturing process. We are currently utilizing 18 thermoforming production lines which are supported by numerous robotic and CNC trim stations. We can produce custom parts ranging from a few square inches to well over 100 square feet.
The majority of our equipment is computer controlled to help assure our products are consistent in quality. Much of our equipment has also undergone custom engineering, enabling us to manufacture products at a level of complexity and quality not attainable by our competitors. Medallion has developed a reputation in the thermoforming industry for doing what the experts say cannot be done.
All projects start with a customer-centric meeting to discuss what exactly is needed to fulfill the customer’s expectations and product requirements. This includes part design considerations, raw material options, quality and tolerance requirments, project timeline and any special packaging requirments. The Medallion team addresses any customer questions and establishes a project timeline that matches our customer’s needs.
Product Design and Engineering
Once this CAD model is completed, it is converted to a surface file that will guide a 5 axis CNC router through the pattern milling process. The CAD model is the first phase in the creation of production tooling. This model is viewable from many perspectives and offers our customers an opportunity to see their product and to make adjustments to their design before the production tool process moves forward. Learn More +
Once the CAD file has been finalized the second phase of building production tooling begins. The CAD file is processed into a surface file which becomes the computerized work instructions for a 5-axis CNC router. This CNC router then mills a pattern from polyurethane tooling board. Because of the precision-controlled nature of the CNC equipment, patterns are milled with a very high level of accuracy.
In almost all cases, the pattern will then be used to test-run a limited set of prototype parts. This allows us to ensure that the parts meet both MPI and customer quality expectations. With some limitations, this prototype run also offers our customers a second opportunity to make adjustments to the product design. Learn More +
After the pattern is approved, the third phase of production tool creation begins. The pattern is prepped to eliminate surface imperfections and coated with a release agent. Layers of proprietary resin and fiberglass are applied to the pattern to create a “skin” or negative. Once this application cures, stiffening reinforcments are added to it and it is removed from the pattern.
This skin is what will be used to lay up the production mold. Once the skin is prepped for imperfections and has a release agent applied to it, it is then moved to a production spray booth where several layers of high temperature ceramic and reinforced polyester are applied, creating what is to become a composite production mold. After curing is completed, the skin and mold are separated and the mold is prepped, inspected and released for customer production. Learn More +
With the mold completed we are now ready to move into the production phase of the product creation process. The new mold is secured onto a machine platen and then connected to a vacuum draw system. A specifically sized flat plastic sheet is clamped into a movable frame which is located either below or above the mold.
This plastic sheet will then automatically move into an oven where it is heated to a predetermined temperature. The sheet heating process is computer controlled and is dependent on raw material type, size and mold design. When the hot plastic sheet moves out of the oven it is drawn over the new mold and an airtight seal is created. A vacuum system then creates a negative pressure between the plastic sheet and the mold which then enables atmospheric pressure to force the hot plastic sheet to conform to all the surface details of the mold. This part will then be cooled, removed from the tool, inspected and released for further processing. Learn More +
In almost all cases, the formed part will be trimmed from the original sheet to allow for further processing. Some secondary trim operations can be accomplished by hand using fixtures and templates. However, many products manufactured by Medallion require precise cutouts for switches, gauges, ventilation slots and component assemblies.
Medallion is able to achieve very high trim tolerances by using any of our several robotic trim cells. The robots in these cells can be programmed to use an large assortment of different trimming tools and thus provide wide variety of trim solutions. Each part is trimmed accurately and consistently to ensure a proper fit, time after time. Learn More +