Interpack 2023

ILLIG presents the new XLU series based on the PLU 40

The thermoforming and packaging specialist ILLIG is adding three new machine types to its product portfolio with the XLU series. The XLU series is a modularly designed machine concept, including the machine variants PLU (Pulp Lamination Unit), CLU (Cardboard Lamination Unit) and TLU (Tray Labeling Unit). The solutions for lamination and labeling are designed primarily for the food and cosmetics industries. The technology company based in Heilbronn, Germany, developed the new product family prioritizing the efficient use of resources and an optimized price/performance ratio.

“For ILLIG, developing the new XLU series was a landmark strategic decision. With these three machine types, we’re steadily expanding our global position as a leading innovator for sustainable but also high-performance packaging machines. Moving forward, our customers will be able to use ILLIG technologies not only to produce purely plastic or cardboard packaging, but also cardboard-plastic or pulp-plastic combinations,” explains Jürgen Lochner, CSO/CTO of ILLIG Maschinenbau GmbH.

The XLU series starts off with the presentation of the PLU 40 – all machines are available for order

ILLIG will kick things off with the presentation of the PLU 40, a laminating unit for packaging made of pulp. The machine will be presented to professionals of the trade for the first time at Interpack 2023 in Düsseldorf, where it can be seen in action. All three machine types are available now for order.

“The PLU 40 is the result of genuine customer feedback and requests. The market demands a laminating unit that sets new standards in both mold technology and machine flexibility. We’ve fulfilled these wishes with the PLU 40,” says Frédéric Engel, Head of Product Management at ILLIG.

In the PLU unit, a very thin laminating film is applied to a blank pulp tray. The main focus is on protecting the packaged goods by preventing gas from entering or escaping, keeping them safe and free from contamination. Not only that, the pulp or cardboard packaging that provides the pack’s shape and stability is protected against water and oils without the need for chemical additives such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). Thus, less plastic is used and the pulp packaging remains recyclable.

The newly developed tool can process film from a thickness of 50 µm. The parts are stretched without contact, so no chill marks are left behind by pre-stretchers. The steel rule die integrated in the tool enables a clean and reliable cut without fraying.

The PLU 40 is fitted with a compact tool unit. The integrated unit design of the upper and lower tools ensures a very high-level accuracy of the repeated production process. Since the two halves of the tool are always changed together as a unit and not separately, the changeover time is just 30 minutes. The new HMI “ILLIG Easy Touch” allows individual data to be stored for each tool and called up at the push of a button.

How the PLU 40 works

The PLU 40 works in five steps. First, the nonlaminated pulp trays are inserted into the format-independent magazine and automatically separated. The magazine is 1,000 mm long, enabling up to 30 minutes of runtime without refilling. The magazine can be refilled without interrupting the machine. The nonlaminated trays are then removed from the magazine and fed into the laminating station by a newly developed handling system.

The PLU 40 is equipped with a rotating table for two lower tools. Since the handling and laminating processes are performed simultaneously by the rotating table, the number of cycles is increased to up to 10 cycles per minute. In the third step, the rotating table turns 180°, bringing the tray and lower tool into position to be laminated. The film is heated by the contact heater in the upper tool, stretched using a vacuum, and then applied to the tray. The edges of the film are cut off, and the rotating table rotates another 180°. The laminated tray is removed from the lower tool and stacked directly on the discharge conveyor and transported out of the machine (process steps 4 & 5).


More Information & Technical Data



1. The new PLU 40 from ILLIG Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG
2. Laminated pulp trays
3. Laminated pulp trays
4. New HMI / User Interface ILLIG Easy Touch



ILLIG is a leading global supplier of thermoforming and packaging systems as well as tool systems for cardboard,
paper and plastics. The company's product and services portfolio includes the development, design, manufacture,
installation and commissioning of complex production lines and components. With its unique approach to packaging
development, “Pactivity® 360”, ILLIG supplies its customers with resource-friendly and sustainable solutions.
With its subsidiaries and sales agencies, ILLIG is active in all markets around the world.
More than 75 years, the family business has been serving its customers as a reliable partner for the cost-effective
manufacturing of complex precision packaging and parts with innovative technology of unsurpassed quality
and comprehensive global service.

Further information:

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Tel.: +49 7131 505-236

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


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