Machinery News: WM caters to Asian thermoforming needs

Swiss machine maker WM Thermforming says it was able to overcome a challenge regarding a not-so-simple process for the thermoforming of disposable high-thickness cups in China.

According to Luca Oliverio, Commercial Director of WM Thermoforming Machines, “In China the medium-high production of disposable cups is in the hands of companies that produce beverages, such as milk tea, which after filling the glass and sealing it with a heat-sealed film proceed to the packaging and sales of the finished product to large retailers.”

Machinery News: WM caters to Asian thermoforming needs

A plus point for WM is that this market is really huge. The con, on the other hand, is that high thickness is a must: if in the West, an industrial flat edge cup in PET or PP with a volume of 650 cc is thermoformed with a thickness of 1.2 mm. In the East, it is at least 3.2 mm thick, which is more than double and a characteristic demanded by the local market.

Oliverio also emphasises the out-of-the-box approach of the Swiss manufacturer. While doing tests with raw materials and specifics “Made in China”, WM technicians reasoned on how to optimise the mould closures rather than calibrating the plug power, because the usual parameters had to be adjusted for operating with thicker material.

“Power and speed are parameters that work in the opposite direction. If you increase the power, you must decrease the speed. This, at least, is what the technical literature says. But in our case, both parameters had to be guaranteed.”

Oliverio adds that having understood the customer’s needs, it started exchanging ideas with its most qualified ball screw suppliers, and this approach resulted in a mix of motor, screw, speed and power that has allowed WM to break through the Asian market.


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