GN Thermoforming enters form/cut/stack market

Canadian machine maker GN Thermoforming Equipment, Chester, Nova Scotia, has announced the introduction of the GN800, a high-speed form/cut/stack thermoformer which is the first GN model that offers movable top and bottom platens. The launch marks GN's entrance into the form/cut/stack market and expands the company's plug-assist machine offering. GN announced that the first unit has been sold to a European processor for production of PET sealed containers.

The GN800 was developed in partnership with Agripak, Milan, Italy, which manufactured and sold form/cut/stack thermoforming machines until 2003. Based on a market analysis, GN confirmed the growing use of form/cut/stack technology by packaging manufacturers and concluded that a partnership offered the fastest entrance into the market. "We saw the changes in the marketplace so we wanted to move swiftly to counter the competition," said Jerome Romkey, GN marketing manager. "Our strategy was to adapt and enhance Agripak's proven technology to meet the requirements of today's processors and gain a strong foothold in this highly attractive market."

GN bought the rights to Agripak's original machine design and has added new features and technologies to make it a "GN machine," according to Romkey. "We used their proven design, and combined it with GN's own proven technologies," said Romkey. The enhancements offered in this new thermoformer came in response to input from customers and tool makers to ensure GN's new machine would meet today's changing market conditions.

The GN800 has a forming area of 800 mm x 570 mm, is capable of forming 150 mm above and below the sheet line, and the cutting force of the forming and cutting stations is 75 tons. The GN800 also has additional space between the forming and cutting stations, providing extra cooling time when running heavier gauge materials or PP.

It also features a standard oven which is four times the index length of the forming area. The machine incorporates solar heaters and is equipped with cut-in-place capabilities as a standard feature. The unit also features independent top and bottom servo-plug drives for better material distribution.

The machine handles sheet widths up to 880 mm and can run sheet thicknesses ranging from 0.25 mm to 1.5 mm. The unit comes fully equipped and handles all thermoformable grades of PET, OPS, HIPS, PLA, PP, and PVC. The company is currently targeting food, medical, and industrial packaging.


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