Thermoforming | 2 MINUTE READ

Thermoforming: Next-Generation Cup Former

Front-to-back enhancements come with no increase in machine footprint.


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Kiefel has enhanced its KTR 5.2 Speed cup-forming machine to provide thermoformers with higher output, lower energy consumption, and an intuitive user interface...all at the same machine footprint. The next-generation thermoformer was on display at Kiefel’s booth at the K 2019 show in October. 

In the forming station, Kiefel has taken steps to improve the rigidity of the machine’s drivetrain while reducing vibration throughout the system. In addition, the new motor-gearbox combination permits up to 50 cycles/min. and increases the punching force to 400 kN. The new backlash-free upper yoke adjustment rounds off the new robust forming station. The enlargement of the usable forming surface results in an increase in the number of cavities in the tool; optimized rapid tool change reduces downtime.
Flow-optimized forming air lines fill the cavities consistently and reduce the filling time by 25% and the venting time by 30%, Kiefel says.

A long heater ensures a precision heat distribution, said to be idea for PP and multilayer films.  The nominal heating capacity has been reduced by about 15% while maintaining the heat input, according to Kiefel. 

The new tool cooling system is fully automatic and sensor-controlled, reducing energy losses while improving tool life and product quality. The KTR 5.2 Speed utilizes two separate cooling circuits for the upper and lower tool and an extended sensor system for optimum control. Two high-pressure pumps and mixer valves supply the two circuits with cooling water; the integrated temperature control ensures optimal tool protection. Start automation is sensor-controlled, completely preventing overshooting of the lower tool.

The new, gentle film guide avoids scratches, particles on the film and the loss of contact heat. The threading of the film is greatly improved thanks to excellent ergonomics and the new geometry at the in-feed table. Start automation prevents cold film from spreading. The linear guides ensure optimum film spreading, strain relief is provided by separable movements, manual height adjustment and position control are handled by the initiator. Spreading increases before the forming station. The system also works robustly in case of film shrinkage. New lubrication points for tabs and chains as well as the continuous lubrication of the chains prevent the lubricant from reaching the film. 

The stacking system, called Speedstacker, is designed to stack a wide variety of formed parts.  Operation and maintenance of the stacker are reportedly simple; format changes are quick, safe and ergonomic. Control of the entire system KTR 5.2 including the SPEEDSTACKER via only one control panel makes operation even easier. This means that articles are stacked easily, quickly and flexibly.

Concerning the HMI system, pictograms and graphics support the input of machine parameters and aid fault diagnosis and rectification as well. The display shows the entire forming process at a glance, important functions are just a click away. Kiefel says this makes the complete process easy to understand, even for non-experts.