A Day in the Life of a Thermoforming Finisher

Penda employees working on plastic product

Explore the workplace of thermoformed plastic manufacturing by stepping into the shoes of a Finisher at Penda.

Ever wonder how truck bedliners are made? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be diving into the world of our production associates here at Penda to learn more about their daily duties, let’s start with our Finishers.

What Does A Finisher Do?

Our Finishers are important to the production of the automotive and OEM solutions we create here at Penda. We value their role tremendously as they touch every part that is manufactured for our customers. Because of this, we emphasize the development of our Finishers and many go on to earn promotions within production or even to the office if they choose.

The role of a Finisher is pretty straight forward, they’re tasked with finishing off a thermoformed product so that it’s ready to be shipped to the customer. This can be done via trimming, cleaning, assembly, and packaging of the parts and products we produce. Finishers also support their team at their work cells by assisting with the setup of secondary finishing tools like drills and handheld routers and clean up their areas by sweeping excess plastic pellets and removing scrap from the ground.

Pictured here is an example of how a Finisher performs trimming to finalize a product before it is shipped. Once this SmartDitch liner is pulled off the thermoformer, two finishers use handheld routers to perform a rough cut to trim any excess plastic. Next they remove the excess and toss it in the pelletizer, they smooth out the edges using a utility knife. After this is done, the SmartDitch liners are stacked on a pallet so a Forklift Driver can transport them through the warehouse for shipment.

A Thermoforming Finisher’s Schedule

At Penda, Finishers work on a 4-on-4-off schedule, with the opportunity for 1-2 days of overtime. There are both day and night shifts at the plant to accommodate every person’s lifestyle. Each Finisher is given two half hour paid breaks during the day which don’t occur at any set time, the crew is free to take these breaks when it best suits them or the machine they’re working on. When days are hot in the summer, we provide extra heat breaks and add extra Finishers to each work cell to help lighten the workload and give everyone a chance to stay cool and rest.

Every day, a Finisher has the opportunity to work on a different work cell which is producing a new product so that they see a variety of thermoforming work. With a wide array of automotive and custom solutions created at Penda, a Finisher could go a very long time before working on the same thing twice. If you’re interested in becoming a Thermoforming Finisher and joining the Penda team, please apply today! To send us your application, you can visit our website to view our openings and a member of our team will be in touch with you shortly.


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