Last week (Feb. 27-28), thermoforming machinery manufacturer Illig (Heilbronn, Germany) welcomed more than 100 processors from around Europe to its Presentation Days open house, with one of the highlights being an RDK 90 automatic pressure forming machine on which amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (APET) trays were processed with a 16-up tool at a rate of 55 cycles/min.
Attendees at Illig's open house feast their eyes on the multi-use options of the RDK 90, the company’s largest version of an automatic pressure forming machine.
At the helm for this processing line was the ThermoLine control from the company, which makes it possible for a user to centrally monitor, optimize and control processes throughout the entire line via the thermoformer's control. Swifter tool and format changes, with increased productivity and thermoforming line uptime, are said to be some of the benefits.
The RDK 90 is Illig’s largest version of this type of machine, able to process up to 900 mm of (processable) material width and 700 mm of index length. It is designed for both off-line roll-fed operation and in-line feed with pre-linked flat film extruder. The skeletal granulator available in the RDK 90 modular system was optimized so that even un-punched parts up to 80 mm high and/or material thicknesses up to 1 mm can be drawn in and ground, which can prove especially useful during machine start-up until a steady and stable process sequencing is achieved.
In a well-received presentation during the open house, and a further sign of automation’s growing use in thermoforming, Rüdiger Sonntag, key technology manager plastics for robot manufacturer Kuka, illustrated the multi-use options a six-axis articulated arm robot can bring to processors, especially for processing high quantities. —[email protected]