Innovations in thermoforming at K 2004 included new twin-sheet technology for automotive fuel tanks, a highly flexible and modular "plug-and-play" industrial vacuum former, and a range of high-speed units for cups and packaging.
A twin-sheet thermoformed pallet uses PP foam as a plug assist that becomes the lightweight structural core.
Thermoforming innovations at K 2004 include several new trim-in-place units for packaging, the first in-line packaging system with an infrared scanner that automatically adjusts oven temperatures. and improved halogen heating that works better with preprinted sheet.High-speed packagingIllig of Germany will introduce the RDK 80, a high-speed automatic trim-in-place pressure former whose advanced servomotor control is said to allow very precise setting of variable platen strokes and speeds.
Thermoformers may find new opportunities in higher-performance applications with the arrival of thin-gauge PPS sheet from Penn Fibre Plastics (PFP). Highly crystalline PPS has until now resisted extrusion at less than 0.25-in. thickness due to its poor melt strength and the resulting sheet’s tendency toward brittleness.
Thermoformed parts play two roles in the expanding field of in-mold decorating (IMD) of plastic parts: For injection molding, IMD begins by thermoforming a thin film into decorative shells that are placed in the injection mold cavity and then back-molded with a compatible substrate.