The long-term relations that WM has developed in the Asian market show a constant trend of advanced processes. “Only those who are familiar with that immense industrial context know how much it is enriching itself with new high-performance technologies,” says Luca Oliverio, commercial director of WM Thermoforming Machines, before going into further details on a challenge faced – and won – by the Swiss company in Asia, regarding a not-so-simple process for the thermoforming of disposable high-thickness cups.
“In China the medium-high production of disposable cups is in the hands of companies that produce beverages, such as milk tea, which after filling the glass and sealing it with a heat-sealed film proceed with the packaging and then take care of selling the finished product to large retailers.
The pro for WM is that this market is really huge. The con, on the other hand, is that high thickness is a must: if in the West, an industrial flat edge cup in PET or PP with a volume of 650 cc is thermoformed with a thickness of 1,2 mm, in the East it is at least 3.2 mm thick. The thickness is more than double! The local market demands for this characteristic”.
Luca Oliverio also emphasizes the out-of-the-box approach of the Swiss manufacturer. While doing tests with raw materials and specifics “Made in China”, WM technicians reasoned on how to optimize the mould closures rather than calibrating the plugs power, because the usual parameters had to be adjusted for operating with thicker material.
“Power and speed are parameters that work in the opposite direction. If you increase the power, you must decrease the speed. This, at least, is what the technical literature says. But in our case, both parameters had to be guaranteed”
And here is the added value of a company like WM, with an open social/technical system.
“Having understood the customer’s needs, we started exchanging ideas with our most qualified ball screw suppliers, and this partnership-focused approach resulted in a mix of motor, screw, speed and power that has allowed WM to break through the Asian market, has brough about a significant business for our partners, and has guaranteed a relevant competitiveness to our customers”