There are two types of thermoforming process: IN LINE and OFFLINE, depending on production rate requirements.
For the production of a single product with very high production runs of millions of pieces per month, such as drinking cups or disposable containers for yogurt, it is usually recommended to put the thermoforming machine IN-LINE with an extrusion group.
Functioning of thermoforming machines
In IN LINE process the raw material is in the form of thermoplastic granules, which are mixed and extruded into sheets. The material is fed directly into the thermoformer, skipping the cooling and winding process.
This is suitable for products with high production, like drinking cups or yogurt tubs. The main advantages of IN LINE process are:
Minimized storage space
Improved product quality
No downtime to change the rolls
The OFF LINE machines are normally more suitable in case of higher demand for flexibility. In this case the starting material will not be in granules, but in already extruded sheet rolls. This family of machines is divided into:
Forming and punching in single station, by punching tool: forming and punching or cutting of the product are done in the same mould almost simultaneously and the product is stacked immediately (our FT 500 – FT 700 – FT 900 and FC E/IM version).
Forming and cutting in single or multi-stations, by steel rule blade: the cutting happens after forming, in a separate operation, in a second station before stacking.
The choice between the two generally depends on the production output and from the cutting precision required. The punch-and-die technology is the best option when a precise, quality and constant cut is needed. It works by means of a male and a female die. This system is mostly used for high volume productions. The steel rule cut technology is the most suitable solution for customers with smaller quantity requirements, who want to produce a wide range of products with more contained costs, This is possible thanks to the usage of blades, available on the market in different sizes and also used in the paper industry. The result is less refined than the punch-and-die, but it is perfect for low/medium quantities productions.
The steel rule cut can be made in 2 different ways:
In a second station, after the forming (FC 600 E, FC 780 E, FC 1000 E). This is the most used option because is faster. The 2 stations operate simultaneously and require lower mould cost
In the same station, together with the forming (FC 780 E IM, FC 1000 E IM). This is required for higher precision parts and materials which shrinks, like PP
Best thermoforming machines: our choices
Here the series you can find among our products:
FLEX 92 is a new steel-rule-die machine designed to provide the thermoformers more freedom of choice. It’s a machine perfect to match an extensive number of moulds and provides constant quality, high performances and extreme flexibility.
The FC series is an automatic vacuum pressure forming machine with servo plugs and with steel rule cutting technology. Ensure a high level of automation through a new and improved control system developed thanks to the continuous feedback of the customers. High performance, constant forming quality, very short re-tooling time and high flexibility.
The FT series is a pressure forming-punch and die machine with a lower tilting platen designed to fulfill the customer’s demand for medium and high production of disposable cups, dairy containers and tubs that require close cutting tolerance, high product quality, fully automated process
The TWIST 700 is a pressure forming – punch and die machine with lower tilting platen without mechanical cams. Is the most interesting solution for medium – high productions of tubs, dairy containers, pots, disposable cups and lids that require closed cutting tolerance, high product quality within a fully automated process.
INTEC thermoforming lines, offering high performance using lower temperatures and better heat distribution during the process and giving the product better appearance. Furthermore, allows less use of material and energy saving up to 25% during the entire process.