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Thermoforming.

Thermoforming

News in thermoforming was slim this year, consisting of plans for a new entrant into the U.S. market, and an integrated extrusion/forming/trim-in-place system for crystal-clear PS cups.

MACHINES FROM MARS

Cannon U.S.A., Mars, Pa., plans to become the next domestic manufacturer of thermoformers in the fourth quarter of next year, in conjunction with its U.K. sister company, Shelley Thermoformers International Ltd. Shelley became part of the Italian-based Cannon Group last summer.

Kevin Teal, sales director for Shelley Thermoformers, said Cannon U.S.A. will "Americanize" its line of Powerform industrial thermoforming systems, which will be built in Mars. He said the Powerform line, available in seven sizes and ranging in price from $50,000 to $200,000 (excluding computer controls) will be the first of three Shelley product lines to be manufactured in Mars, with the higher-end Autoform and Linearform units to follow. The Autoform and Linearform machines will be priced over $300,000.

The Powerform system has a pneumatically controlled tool changer and two optional automatic load/unload units. The machine can be equipped with Cannon's new software-driven Programmable Thermoformer Controller, which is priced at about $12,000 has a 100-program memory and provides full closed-loop control. He said the color-monitor controller provides a digital model of the thermoformed sheet, with precise temperature options for each grid-block on the computer model.

This "grid" temperature control allows users to achieve necessary thickness in corners without excess material in the middle of the sheet. Reprogramming can be done on-line. The controller also provides real-time diagnostics to assist maintenance and can be networked with external computer systems.

Cannon will seek opportunities to combine its expertise in urethane processing with its new thermoforming capabilities, in applications involving thermoformed skins over PUR foam backings.

INTEGRATED PS CUP SYSTEM

A new in-line sheet extrusion/thermoforming system that forms and trims polystyrene cups in the same tool will be introduced to the U.S. market in early 1991 by Krupp Bellaplast Maschinenbau, Heidesheim, W. Germany.

Known as the INF 200 TIP (trim-in-place) thermoforming line, this is a general-purpose system for production of high-clarity PS cups, according to Dipl.-Ing. Alois Stadler, director of sales and marketing. He said the advantage of trim-in-place, in-line thermoforming design is attaining a high-clarity material in high volumes. Because of its brittle nature, thermoformed PS material, once cooled, cannot be trimmed without the addition of impact modifiers, which have a negative effect on product clarity. But the trim-in-place, single-tool concept allows for automated, high-volume production while eliminating the need to add impact modifiers. Stadler said there is no reheating between the sheet die and forming station. The male forming tool delivers the finished cups to a stacker.

Priced at about $1.2 million, the INF 200 TIP system is microprocessor controlled, uses standard a-c servo drives for all line functions, has a maximum forming area of 11.7 X 23.4 in., and is adaptable for coextrusion operations. The system also has an automated scrap collector that grinds sheet skeletons and feeds the recycled material back into the hopper. Stadler said the system is designed to utilize up to 40% regrind.
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Title Annotation:K'89 Report
Author:Gabriele, Michael
Publication:Plastics Technology
Date:Jan 1, 1990
Words:527
Previous Article:Blow molding.
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