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Elkhart, IN 46516-5521 US
New machinery and tooling developments for thermoformers debut at K.
Hot buttons at the show will be multi-component molding, in-mold labeling/decorating (IML/IMD), in-mold assembly, medical molding, liquid silicone rubber (LSR), micro-molding, and high-speed packaging.
Continuous in-line packaging systems headed up the K 2010 thermoforming news as suppliers launched a range of roll-fed systems with greater capacity, more flexibility, and improved automation.
NPE had its share of innovations in thermoforming, notably a new machine that opens the small-bottle market to thermoformers. New trim stations offer more in the way of output and versatility. And more machines are now outfitted with off-the-shelf controls to facilitate servicing. A line of formers from Australia also arrived in the U.S. (Note: additional NPE thermoforming news appeared in May and June—see Learn More box.)
There was plenty of news in thermoforming at K 2007 as suppliers rolled out continuous roll-fed packaging systems with greater output, enhanced cooling, reduced air consumption, and more automation.
After several fits and starts over the last decade, thermoforming IML appears ready for prime time, thanks to improvements in output and labeling technology. For now, the action is mostly in European packaging.
A new thermoformed tamper-evident food package is the first use of innovative trim-and-place tooling said to provide greater accuracy and manufacturing efficiency.
Manufacturers of micro-size components that until now relied exclusively on injection molding may have another option to consider.
Several new processing technologies unveiled at NPE point to thermoforming’s growing capability to produce in-mold labeled and decorated plastic parts.
New capabilities for continuous roll-fed forming machinery were unveiled at NPE. They include forming heavier sheet, forming lids with a tamper-evident band, and producing in-mold decorating preforms with preprinted sheet. Tooling also advanced with a new and easier way to keep the forming inserts and trim-in-place punch level after the punch is sharpened.