Case study thermoforming process

Crafty simulation – creative design

In many areas, when developing plastic components, almost every process and every mold or die is optimized in advance with the aid of simulation tools. But when it comes to thermoforming simulation is still used quite infrequently. Compared to using prototype tooling, however, software tools can save both time and money.

The increasing degree of complexity in manufacturing automobile interior trims from plastic requires different production methods that are used individually or in combination. In order to shorten development times in thermoforming, Kiefel has been using the simulation technology during preliminary development for years. 

For thermoforming and laminating as well as in-mold graining (IMG), the T-SIM simulation software used, makes a considerable contribution toward manufacturing high-quality products quickly and cost-effectively.

Using this approach, it has been possible to reduce the development time and in turn the associated costs for automobile interior components by up to 80%. Already during the component development phase the interaction of simulation results and quality assessment allow initial optimization steps even before the real product exists.