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, 08.05.2018

ILLIG at NPE 2018

IC-RDKP 72 automatic roll-fed thermoforming machine equipped with ILLIG IC control concept®. The efficiency of this machine will be demonstrated at NPE 2018 by production of a sophisticated hinged pack made of APET.

In-Mold Labeling IML-T®: Production of packs with brilliant decoration in one working step with ILLIG IC-RDML 70.

Growing market for plastic capsules: More than 95 % of the thermoformed coffee capsules on the world market are being manufactured on ILLIG RDM-K machines. 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.

ILLIG Thermoformers for High Productivity, Product Quality and Operational Reliability – Wide Range of Groundbreaking Technologies on Display

Heilbronn/Germany and Orlando, May 7, 2018 – From May 7 to 11, 2018, ILLIG will be showcasing its state-of-the-art automatic roll-fed thermoforming machine IC-RDKP 72 with a separate forming and punching station at the NPE, booth number 3353, West Hall. The machine is equipped with the “IC” operating concept (ILLIG Intelligent Control Concept®), which enables the customer to get more out of his investment and also makes it much easier to operate. ILLIG will be giving live demonstrations of the production of a sophisticated hinged food pack made of APET with a film thickness of 0.4 mm.ILLIG will also be demonstrating IML-T® decorating of thermoformed packaging, large-scale production of capsules on RDM-K-series thermoformers, ILLIG’s Pactivity® concept in the development of packaging solutions, and Cleantivity®, clean production with increased productivity. ILLIG is shaping the technology of tomorrow’s high-quality and resource-saving thermoforming process. Productive, clean, energy efficient and sustainable.

ILLIG RDKP-type Thermoformers

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 ILLIG RDKP series. These types of thermoformers are roll-fed vacuum and pressure forming machines with separate forming and punching stations. The parts produced are 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 tool changes is part of everyday practice. From this perspective, RDKP thermoforming machines benefit substantially from the "dynamic process optimization", "faster tool change" and "compensation of ambient influences" modules forming part of the IC modular system.

Growing Market for Plastic Capsules

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 2018 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 several 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.

Unique IML-T® technology

Moreover, ILLIG will present the decorative and economic potentials of in-mold labeling in thermoforming (IML-T®) at NPE. IML-T® lines are realized with so-called RDM-L machines. This decoration technology is also integrated in form, fill and seal lines (FSL lines). An IML unit removes the printed blanks (labels) from a magazine and places them in the tool cavities in the forming station of the thermoformer. Every cavity can be equipped individually with a label, thus product changes can be performed fast and easily. The label bonds true to contour and permanently with the part wall during the subsequent forming process. Currently, ILLIG is the only supplier of an IML system in thermoforming (machine and tool technology) worldwide. Meanwhile, several machines have been put into operation on the market.

IC – ILLIG Intelligent Control Concept®

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 IC – ILLIG 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 tool change”, for example, not only time can be saved, moreover, the whole tool change can be carried out more reliably. The operator receives targeted information on the screen for all tasks required in conjunction with a tool 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.

Cleantivity® – Cleanliness in machine manufacturing and availability

Derived from the comprehensive expertise in the field of hygiene in form, fill and seal lines (FFS lines), ILLIG transferred the technology of cleanliness in the production process to its thermoformers – this is accompanied by higher machine availability. ILLIG calls this concept Cleantivity®. It is our intent to extend operating time, running time and, ultimately, quality time of the thermoforming machines, in order to achieve a high line output of parts of excellent quality.

Pactivity® – From the Packaging Idea to the Production System

ILLIG has decades of experience developing packaging and helping packaging manufacturers. Each project is treated independently, as no packaging is ever exactly the same. Development begins with the customer's initial idea and ends with an outstanding final product that meets all requirements. This entails numerous steps in between and several answers that have to be found to technical challenges along the way. Packaging for fresh fruits and produce is a good example of how multifaceted packaging can be. It has to ensure visibility of its contents, while also protecting them, and it must be suitable for transport, both to the market and throughout the logistics process. ILLIG packaging experts develop different variants for ventilation (hole vents or closure knobs with spacing for clamshell trays) and package closure (hinged lids, separate lids or without). Product, packaging material, volume and feasibility as well as decoration with IML-T® – all have to be analyzed to determine the design possibilities, a tool layout and line concept, because thermoforming offers a wide variety of different methods to produce packaging. The thermoforming method depends primarily on the required properties of the packaging. The decisive factors include design, desired material, and required output. The initial criteria have been successfully determined in the packaging development stage. An extensive testing phase follows that begins with the production of samples. This is followed by a number of required product tests and finally ends with the customer approval. Only then can work begin on the production system. ILLIG has the necessary know-how in tool making and machine construction and is familiar with all the technical requirements – world-wide.

The German manufacturing company ILLIG is a leading global supplier of high-performance thermoforming machines and tools, as well as solutions for the packaging industry. The company's product and services portfolio includes the development, design, manufacture, installation and commissioning of complex production lines and components. For over 70 years, the family-owned enterprise has been serving its customers across the globe as a reliable partner for the cost-effective manufacturing of complex precision thermoplastic parts with innovative technology of unsurpassed quality and comprehensive worldwide after-sales support.

Further information:
Georg Sposny, Corporate Communications, Press and Public Relations
ILLIG Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG, Robert-Bosch-Straße 10, D-74081 Heilbronn
Phone: +49 7131 505-784, Fax: -1784, E-mail: georg.sposny@illig.de

Note: Terms marked with ® are registered and protected trademarks of ILLIG Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG.
Pictures: ILLIG

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