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The open house organized last month by thermoforming machinery manufacturer Illig offered a prime opportunity for plastics processors to eye advances in the company's range of automatic roll-fed thermoforming machines. More than180, most from Europe but also from as far as South America and Asia, made the trip.

PlasticsToday Staff

August 5, 2011

1 Min Read
Thermoforming open house at Illig draws a crowd

Illig (Heilbronn, Germany) is the largest manufacturer of thermoforming machinery and used its open house to show processors live demonstrations of machines from across its portfolio. Running for visitors were RDK and RDM-K series machines with combined forming and punching action; RDKP, RV and RD Series units featuring separate forming and punching, plus a BF Series machine suitable for thermoforming products with distinctively undercut external contours. PS, PP and A-PET were processed.

During presentations at the event, Illig's engineers described the innovations embodied in the current 3rd generation of all-servomotor powered machines on exhibit. These include new features designed to simplify operator tasks and the start-up with new thermoforming tools, improve process stability even at high number of cycles, and new energy saving features.

For instance, the new control concept for the RDK and RDKP machines assists with dynamic process optimization, meaning personnel no longer require any special expertise regarding the interdependence of parameters.  The control system will automatically calculate the best settings for every station (forming, punching, stacking) of the line. If settings are changed, the cycle time is instantly re-calculated and adjusted so that the maximum number of cycles is reached.

Also new is a start-up regime based on a reduced cycle rate and process-optimized settings so that processors waste less material after starting up new tools. When the line is switched to production mode, it automatically changes to a higher cycle rate and the appropriate heater output.

Energy efficiency gains are achieved via the new low-maintenance vacuum pump that operates without oil. Illig reports it consumes around 15% less power than the pumps previously employed.

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