At NPE, Orlando, Florida/USA, March 23 - 27, 2015, ILLIG will present the current generation of its automatic forming machines of the RDKP series with a separate forming and punching station. The efficiency of this machine working from a roll stock is demonstrated by model IC-RDKP 72 (forming area max. 756 mm x 535 mm) and a sophisticated hinged food pack made of polyethylene terephthalate (APET) produced on this machine. The production line is additionally equipped with a hole punch press (punching force 600 kN) positioned between forming station and steel rule punch press. It is employed to apply frequently required venting openings to the packs. The line works at a speed of up to 50 cycles per minute with 6-up mold. IML decoration of thermoformed packs as well as high-volume production of coffee capsules on thermoformers of the RDM-K series are some other topics ILLIG will be presenting at NPE.

Trays and hinged packs used for protection of food during transport and for presentation of food articles on supermarket shelves are manufactured on thermoformers of the RDKP series from thermoplastic materials such as PS, PP and PET through to bioplastics such as PLA: The flexible production of medium and even small batch sizes with frequent material, format and mold changes is part of everyday practice. The high productivity of today’s machine generation achieved by consistent use of servo drives and process-controlled machine sequencing is effectively supported by the new ILLIG IC control concept (Intelligent Control Concept). This lets the machine operator get the most out of the entire thermoforming line in terms of productivity and quality in an efficient manner. By using the IC module “accelerated mold change”, for example, not only time can be saved, moreover, the whole mold change can be carried out more reliably. The operator receives targeted information on the screen for all tasks required in conjunction with a mold change along the whole thermoforming line. This helps to prevent errors right from the beginning which otherwise might cause machine malfunction or even production standstill.

IML-T decoration and coffee capsules with growth potential

In-mold Labeling (IML) allows very economical production of packs with brilliant decoration in one working step. The IC-RDML 70 developed by ILLIG is a decoration unit tailored to these requirements which was presented at K 2013 for the first time. In the meantime several of these IML-T lines were installed successfully at customer sites or they are in the process of being realized. At Interpack 2014 ILLIG also presented IML integration in a form, fill and seal line realized in the new FSL 48. A line equipped in this way also started production in the meantime. Increasing demands with respect to a high-quality decoration technology, and last but not least, measures to meet the obligation to provide nutritional information will result in an increasing application of IML technology in thermoforming. With the IML-T machine program ILLIG offers whole solutions for functional packs which meet highest decoration requirements at the same time.

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world; it is even preferred over mineral water. Especially the small and practical coffee capsules offered today are becoming more and more popular—with increasing tendency worldwide. And this tendency will be continuing in 2015 worldwide as well. Thermoformed plastic capsules are mainly manufactured on ILLIG RDM-K machines. In the meantime more than 95 % of the thermoformed coffee capsules on the world market are being manufactured on these machines. Every month these ILLIG thermoformers produce about 1.5 billion coffee capsules with high requirements with respect to dimensional stability at the same time. The current automatic pressure forming machines of the ILLIG RDM-K series provide best conditions for this since the parts manufactured with high productivity achieve dimensional tolerances in the hundredth millimeter range at the same time. In the meantime some sorts of tea are also offered besides coffee in capsules. And systems based on capsules for soft drinks are also being developed. A machine combination as employed for the production of plastic capsules without bottom holes consists of an ILLIG RDM-K thermoformer with downstream PH stacking unit. For production of capsules with bottom hole only the PH stacking unit has to be replaced by a STPL pallet stacking unit with integrated hole punch press.

ILLIG is a global leading supplier of high-performance production lines and molds for thermoforming plastic materials as well as of solutions for the packaging industry. The company's product and services portfolio comprises the development, design, fabrication, installation and start-up of complex manufacturing lines and individual components. With branch establishments and agencies in over 80 countries, ILLIG is locally present in all markets around the globe. For more than 65 years, this owner-managed enterprise has been serving its worldwide clientele as a reliable partner in cost-efficient thermoplastic molding of sophisticated precision parts backed by innovative technology of unsurpassed quality and a comprehensive worldwide after-sales support.