Penda’s Capabilities as a Leading Thermoformed Plastics Manufacturer

Penada Manufacturing Facility

As one of the largest thermoformers in North America, we’ve spent years refining processes, implementing new technologies, and developing a deep-bench of supplier partnerships to create a vast array of custom thermoformed products and assemblies. These new processes, technologies and partnerships enable our team to apply their capabilities and years’ worth of experience to deliver high quality solutions at completive costs.

When it comes to these value-added capabilities, we specialize in the following areas:

In this article, we’ll dive into these specific areas to highlight the unique capabilities we have as one of the top thermoforming manufacturers.

Engineering and Design Capabilities

Our expertise in the areas of engineering and design is fundamental to providing advanced solutions for our customers. When you work with Penda, you take advantage of over 25 years of product and thermoforming design. We work hard to overcome your most challenging requirements by leveraging a variety of advanced tools and systems. Some of the design tools that we utilize are:


  • Siemens NX CAD, 3D Modeling and Design
  • Siemens Advanced Simulation (Nastran) FEA/CAE
  • Siemens I-DEAS 3D Modeling and Design
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA V5 3D Modeling and Design
  • Dassault Systemes SolidWorks 3D Modeling and Design
  • PTC Creo (PRO-E) 3D Modeling and Design
  • AutoDesk Inventor and AutoCAD 3D/2D Modeling and Design
  • Accuform T-Sim thermoforming and Blow-Molding simulation/optimization
  • STEP & IGES translations to/from any CAD/CAM software
  • Multi-axis Digital Scanning and Layout
  • CMM Multi-axis Layout
  • 3-Axis CNC Milling / 5-Axis Router
  • Virtual Reality tools

Through the use of these tools, our engineers produce various design outputs that include multiple OEM Tier-1 TeamCenter-Integration Direct-Connections, connections through secure cloud-based file-exchange, color imaging 3D renderings, ANSI/ISO standard drawings, multimedia printing, 3D printing, and more!

Another key component of our capabilities in engineering and design is our ability to perform rapid prototyping. By combining our engineering skillset with extensive in-house tooling facilities, we can go from concept drawings to producing prototypes like no one else. This gives our customers the advantage of reviewing fit and function to ensure that materials, processes, and parts are just right before investing in hard tooling.

One of the final areas in engineering and design that allows us to excel as a plastics manufacturer is Studio 540. Studio 540 is our internal team of industrial designers that develop some of the most cutting-edge automotive solutions for custom OEM applications. In addition to using a lot of the tools talked about before, Studio 540 incorporates virtual reality technology to showcase and implement the designs they make.

Thermoforming and Extrusion Capabilities

The next area that we specialize in is thermoforming and extrusion. At Penda, we offer an unmatched array of thermoforming technologies and techniques to meet an increasingly wide range of customer needs. By applying lean processes, unique work cells, and other smart approaches, we can do everything more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever. Some of the advantages that thermoforming offers are lower costs for tooling, prototypes, and materials. The manufacturing process also allows us to produce high quality, large components when needed. These advantages couldn’t be possible without our advanced thermoforming techniques which involve twin-sheet thermoforming and twin-sheet composite thermoforming. Making use of these processes helps us create solutions that are optimized for weight, structural performance, and overall quality.

When it comes to extrusion, our capabilities our second-to-none. Because we produce our own plastic sheets, you benefit from reduced product lead time, maximized product quality, and cost-efficiency. Our equipment and extrusion expertise lie in these areas:

  • HDPE, TPO, and glass filled polypropylene and acrylic co-extrusion
  • Polyolefins and engineered plastics extrusion
  • Anti-slip, anti-stat, smooth or grained sheets
  • Many color options, solid, capped, and laminated films

Finishing and Assembly Capabilities

Finishing and assembly services are another capability that we possess as one of the largest thermoformers. With our experience in technical and complex assemblies, you’ll quickly find value-added benefits and reduced costs when choosing us as a manufacturer. We fully assemble our manufactured components with purchased components for complete assembly and can ship them directly to you. Our strategic partnerships with other key suppliers that hold expertise in other manufacturing disciplines equips us with a vast range of knowledge that makes Penda your sole supplier for complete solutions.

At Penda, our facilities are equipped with specialized fixtures and gauges that maximize the precision of each component we produce. By combining these tools with our supplemental part integration and assembly process, we stay at the top of our game when it comes to quality and efficiency. Some of the key benefits that come with choosing us are:

  • Multi-component integration    
  • Vendor Management    
  • Line Sequencing
  • Full assemblies for turnkey solutions     
  • Subassemblies for simplified product integration
  • Fixtures to expedite alignment
  • Gauges to confirm exact locations of critical components            
  • Domestic & global sourcing        
  • Freight distribution cost reduction

Materials Capabilities

The final area that we specialize in as a manufacturer is our expertise in materials selection and conversion. The primary materials we use are HDPE, TPO, and TPR resins. However, we’re not limited to these.  Over the years, we have worked with numerous engineered plastics including ABS and many, many more. 

At our facilities, we have five large extruders with co-extrusion capabilities to produce the sheets of plastic we use for production. The main colors we process are black, grey, and tan, but we have the abilities to process any color your custom project requires.

Our proven record of success with helping customers reduce material and tooling costs through material conversion  helps deliver a range of advantages. Among the other benefits that working with Penda brings, our material conversion benefits include:

  • Reduced part weight
  • Enhanced structural integrity
  • Easier, less expensive tooling
  • Recyclable and recycled materials
  • Numerous secondary finishing requirements

With over 30 years of experience in thermoformed products and solutions, we have the process knowledge to optimize performance of leading-edge materials. You have set requirements and costs, and we have the capabilities to customize these solutions to exceed your expectations.

If you’re interested in learning more about our capabilities or want to start the process of developing a new custom thermoformed solution, contact our dedicated team to receive a custom quote.

How Drop-In Bedliners Compare to Spray-On Coatings

When you dive into the world of pickup trucks, you often hear about two main types of truck bed protection: drop-in bedliners and spray-on coatings. While both of these solutions serve the purpose of protecting your truck bed, they’re very different in how they’re installed, their benefits, and the quality of protection they provide. Finding the right facts to compare the differences between the two can be a headache. There is a lot of information circulating around the internet that is incorrect and based on unproven claims.

In an effort to help you sift through all of that information, we’re here to support you with this guide comparing our drop-in bedliners to spray-on coatings. No matter what type of protection you decide to purchase, we hope this article helps dismiss the different myths that exist in the bed protection industry.

Comparing the Drop-In and Spray-On Bedliner Installation

Drop-in Bedliner Installation Process

Drop-in bedliners are designed to be easily installed in the bed of your truck. The do-it-yourself process makes it quick and straightforward once you receive your bedliner. And if you ever decide to sell your truck, or you just want to remove the bedliner, the process is as effortless as installation. The only roadblocks that occur while installing a drop-in bedliner come from not purchasing the correct one to fit your truck. Some manufacturers even produce bedliners that require little-to-no tools as part of the installation process.

Our Duraliner truck bedliners are a great example of how simple it is to install a drop-in bedliner. Check out our quick 3-minute video below to see just how easy it is.

Spray-on Coating Application

If you choose to go with the spray-on route, you’ll find that the process of adding protection is much different.

With spray-on coatings, application must be done professionally to ensure that the truck bed receives an even coating of paint. This professional application not only adds to the cost, but it also means that the quality of the application can vary depending on who you choose to perform it.

Once it’s in the shop, spray-on coatings require the truck bed to be damaged before application. This is done by grinding or sanding the bed of your truck to reveal an unprotected metal layer. Stripping the surface down to this layer allows the spray-on coating to adequately adhere to the truck bed. By doing this, you void the corrosion warranty for any parts of your truck that receive the spray-on coating. Plus, removing the coating after it is applied is nearly impossible to do without further damage to your truck.

Comparing the Quality of Protection of a Drop-In and Spray On Truck Bedliner

Next, we’ll go on to discuss the level of protection and benefits that our drop-in bedliners provide compared to the spray-on coating alternative.

Dent and Scratch Protection

One of the most important parts of your truck bed protection is how it much it will prevent dents and scratches. Both drop-in bedliners and spray-on coatings provide protection against dents and scratches, but the level at which they do so is different.

Our drop-in bedliners offer superior protection from dents and scratches with their unique rib design. Since the drop-in bedliner acts as durable buffer between the bed of your truck and the cargo in it, dents and scrapes are a thing of the past. With the amount of protection that our drop-in bedliners provide, the useful life and value of your truck is increased significantly.

The level of protection against dents and scratches that spray-on coatings provide is much less. Because the spray-on coating paint is directly adhered to your truck bed, any dents that occur will most certainly get through to the bed of your truck. Scratches in the coating can occur and will reveal an unprotected truck bed surface. In addition to this, spray-on coatings are typically much more abrasive and can cause scratches to cargo that sits in your truck.

Slip Resistance

Slip resistance is another important thing to consider when deciding on what type of truck bed protection you want to go with. With our brand of drop-in truck bedliners, you will experience twice the slip resistance compared to other drop-ins or spray-on coatings. This is thanks to our unique TruGrip™ technology which utilizes a unique plastic formulation to increase surface friction in the bed. More surface friction leads to less cargo sliding around which decreases the amount of dents that occur to the bed.

Spray-on coatings also offer some level of slip resistance for cargo, but it is much less than drop-in bedliners. Once it is applied, the finished coating dries into a hard and abrasive-like material. While the abrasion acts as a sort of slip resistance for cargo, the hardness of the material makes it easier for things to slide around in your truck.

Other Benefits of a Drop-In Bedliner

There are many other benefits that come with selecting one of our brands of drop-in bedliners which include: spill-cleanup, shock absorption, and a cost-advantage.

When it comes to spill clean-up, our patented bedliner surface allows you to easily rinse off the liner without water getting trapped under the bedliner. Our truck bedliners are designed to always drain away from the bed which makes it easy to clean gasoline, oils, chemicals, and other spills that can occur.

Another added benefit of our drop-in bedliners is the shock absorption they provide. Our bedliner shock absorbing technology is 7X better than any spray-on coatings available. This is because of the thick and durable plastic material that is used to create them. Meanwhile, spray-on coatings are directly adhered to your truck bed and therefore cannot provide shock absorption.

The final benefit that our bedliners provide is a cost-advantage that makes them one of the most affordable solutions for truck bed protection. Since drop-in bedliners can be installed at home, there isn’t the added labor costs that comes with the professional installation required for spray-on coatings. The ability to remove a drop-in bedliner also helps with costs, as they can easily be resold when they’re no longer needed or added to future trucks you may purchase.

If you own a truck, it’s important that you protect it with truck bed protection that works as hard as you do. To learn more about our different drop-in bedliners and how they can protect your vehicle, browse our website to see which option is right for you!

Portage manufacturers making thousands of hospital beds to help with nationwide shortage

PORTAGE, Wis. — In anticipation of hospital bed shortages due to COVID-19, Oklahoma-based parent company Kruger Family Industries has announced that its two Portage-based manufacturers are teaming up to make thousands of emergency and disaster relief beds.

Vice President of Human Resources Todd Spencer said Penda is known for making truck bed liners and Trienda is known for making plastic palettes to serve the food and postal service industry.

“We were deemed non-essential. We wanted to find something to get our employees back to work as soon as possible,” Spencer said.

The collaboration efforts between all departments sped up the process to make this possible. Spencer said this process that would normally take anywhere from eight to 12 weeks, came together in three weeks.


Local companies changing practices to help local hospitals

SAUKVILLE (WKOW) — Rebel out of Ozaukee County is a company primarily dedicated to making sanitary wet wipes, but they are shifting their focus to making masks.

“We started talking about it and started making them for our own employees, and we heard there was a shortage of masks, so we said we don’t have time to make masks for everybody, but we do have time to donate all the materials to make a mask,” Mike Kryshak, owner of Rebel Converting in Saukville said.

They are now asking businesses statewide who have the time to help with the assembly of the masks.

“Companies that have a nice, clean, controlled environment that can have enough room so they can socially distance people to make the masks out of our kits,” Kryshak explained.

Rebel has a goal of making one million masks.

“The medical college is leaving with a hundred thousand today, so we’re going to burn through these pretty quick,” Kryshak said. “We’re probably going to have to wind up doing it again.”

Another company found a creative way to help. Kruger Family Industries in Portage is pulling their resources together to make emergency and disaster relief beds.


Penda Corporation in Portage recognized for energy efficiency

There’s more to be gained from energy efficiency than money, according to the leaders of Penda Corporation.

The Portage manufacturer has saved almost a half-million dollars thanks to 30 completed energy projects since 2012, and last week the company received recognition for its recent success from Focus on Energy, the statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program.

“But what Portage should really know is the projects allow us to invest in the best people. We’re looking to build for the future,” said Todd Spencer, Penda Corporation’s vice president of human resources.

Penda, which manufactures plastic automotive parts, including its main product of pickup bed liners, completed 14 energy efficiency projects in 2018. It has either completed or is working on another 18 projects in 2019.

The company was among 18 Wisconsin businesses to receive an Energy Efficiency Excellence Award from Focus on Energy, which is funded by 107 Wisconsin utilities and provides rebates to companies that invest in energy efficiency. Penda collaborates with Alliant Energy (its utility) and Focus on Energy on the projects, many of which have converted compressed air to electricity.


Penda Recognized For 2017 SPE Automotive Awards

Spanning nine categories, the winners of the Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division’s 2018 Blue Ribbon Automotive Innovative Awards (which this editor helped judge) represent a number of “firsts” in metal replacement and in replacing earlier plastics solutions with better options. In this 47th annual competition—the oldest and largest such event in the automotive and plastics industries, all but one category entailed the use of thermoplastics.



Designed for GM’s 2017 Chevrolet Silverado pickup, this “first-time” twin-sheet thermoformed bedliner divider is integrated into the bedliner as one piece. By not having to manufacture a separate floor divider part, there was a cost savings of $275. Manufactured by Penda Durakon, the divider is made of TPP 1026EU TPO from A.Schulman Inc., Fairlawn, Ohio. It incorporates a molded-in locking feature to secure the divider to the truck wall when it is raised.

Read the full article as originally published on Plastics Technology.