Thermoforming machine manufacturer Illig (Heilbronn, Germany) in April officially announced the introduction of its RDM 75K machines, the fourth model in the company’s RDM series, and MPW understands plastics processor Berry already has ordered these as part of its previously announced thermoforming expansion.
Illig says the RDM 75K features a forming area of 735 mm x 465 mm and dry cycle rates of up to 42 cycles/minute, about a 30% increase over previous (comparable) Illig machines. The manufacturer also claims that developments on the machines and their tooling will help processors reduce the weight of cups and other packaging by approximately 10%, without any loss of rigidity, compared to packaging formed on older machines. The stacking device supplied with these machines has been upgraded to reliably handle the higher output, even of “difficult” cup shapes.
Lower part weight, faster cycles and reduced use of energy: Illig promises plenty with its RDM 75K.
At Pack Expo last winter, an Illig representative told MPW that it installed the first of its third-generation RDM 78K thermoforming machines in North America at Berry Plastics (Evansville, IN). In January, MPW reported on Berry Plastics’ (Evansville, IN) plans to invest $80 million in building and equipment for an expansion of its thermoforming operations. Startup was targeted for the first quarter of 2010.
According to Illig, forming air consumption of these new machines is about 50% less than that of the firm’s previous machine range. The forming air supply now is controlled simultaneously by individual valves on each cavity to better allow for uniform processing from cycle to cycle. One result is that previous dimensional tolerances, such as tolerances measured in the tenths of a millimeter in the sealing rim thickness of yogurt cups, can be reduced by a factor of 10 or more.
The increase in productivity is augmented by a new tool cooling system that includes up to four cooling circuits in the forming tool. These circuits can be individually controlled and separately supply the upper and lower parts of the tool and the ejectors. The tools are equipped with cooling channels close to the cavities' contours with cross sections dimensioned accordingly to ensure that the heat is dissipated from the cavities as quickly as possible during high cycle speeds. According to Illig, these changes also mean that, when in the past a cooling water temperature of 12°C was required, tools for third-generation RDM-K machines can now be cooled with water of 16-18°C, saving energy and lowering the risk of condensation forming on the tool.
The new stacking device is also said to contribute to improved parts cooling. With this stacking device the cups need cool for only one cycle before being positioned in the stacking cage. The new RDM-K generation is suitable for running with sheet from roll stock and also for in-line operation with a pre-linked film extruder. —[email protected]