CHESTER, Nova Scotia – A new tool-specific heater platen developed by GN Thermoforming Equipment provides higher output, better product clarity, and quicker tool changeovers for large-volume applications. It is the first of its kind for contact-heat, cut-in-place thermoforming machines, according to Jerome Romkey, GN Thermoforming marketing manager.
Depending on product design, the dedicated heater platen can reduce cycle time by 20% to 30%. In addition, greater product clarity is achieved and material distribution is more consistent due to the quicker forming times. The new platen system is designed to match a specific tool by pre-engineering heater and air channel locations within the platen to optimize the process.
“Instead of heating the whole plate, we’re now heating dedicated areas; and the same goes for the forming air,” explained Romkey.
Each dedicated heater platen has a specific cut plate that matches the design of the tool cutting die layout. An air channel is located in the platen within 1 mm of where the cutting die touches the cutting plate, allowing a high volume of forming air to reach each cavity. The channel provides significantly more air volume than the 0.4-mm holes located within the die perimeter on a standard GN Thermoforming cut plate. A retrofittable locating feature on the mold carrier beam keeps the heater platen accurately lined up with the tool. An aluminum insert within the die perimeter is micro drilled for venting and anodized for durability. It provides more consistent heating and a clearer product.
With its new dedicated heater platen, GN Thermoforming has test run 16-mil- thick APET sheet at 26 cycles/min. for production of 40-mm-high product. This is significantly faster than the 20 cycles/min rate on a traditional GN thermoformer.
While the tool-specific heater platen adds $12,000-$18,000 per tool set, the investment can be easily recouped due to the high production efficiencies, according to the company. The new product is being used in North Americafor food packaging applications.
GN Thermoforming Equipment
Filed Under: Packaging, Electronics • electrical