Thermoforming IML pioneer Tech II adds line, and now extrudes its own sheet

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 11, 2013 12:21 pm ET
Updated: June 11, 2013 12:24 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Film & Sheet, Thermoforming, Extrusion

Tech II Inc., which has pioneered in-mold labeling for thermoforming in North America, has bought a second TSL thermoforming machine. The company also is now extruding its own polypropylene sheet.

Tech II President Eric Shiffer said the packaging company had been purchasing its sheet from outside suppliers. “Self-manufacturing our own sheet came from a desire for greater vertical integration — to control quality and costs — but even more importantly, to experiment and innovate on a confidential basis, accelerating the innovation cycle,” Shiffer said. “This allows us to experiment with products in a proprietary way, without giving away any secrets we develop.”

Used for years in injection molding, in-mold labeling gives high-level graphics for packaging. Thermoforming has faster cycles and makes thinner parts.

About a year ago, the Springfield, Ohio-based maker of food packaging started production on its first IML thermoformer, an FT3500 thermoformer from Thermoforming Systems LLC of Union Gap, Wash. The mold and automation for that first line came from Hekuma GmbH in Eching, Germany. Shiffer said the first whole production line has the capability to form on a 14-cavity mold. It is making a new packaging product.

In February of this year, Tech II started extruding sheet on a Welex line that that can produce two-layer or three-layer sheet, with film lamination capability. Welex, which announced the news June 4, said the line can be expanded into full barrier sheet production. It can handle up to five additional extruders, including additional rolls for additional sheet cooling. The Welex DB-W feedblock has a modular design so feedblock sections and extruders can be added.

That will allow Tech II to produce high barrier sheet containing EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol) and adhesives or two-color sheet with a core layer of recycled plastic. Right now, Tech II is laminating to get the barrier layer.

Welex President and CEO David Schroeder called IML thermoforming “cutting-edge innovation.” Welex is based in Blue Bell, Pa.

Shiffer said the company is extruding the sheet onto rolls, which are moved into position for the two thermoforming machines. Both Thermoforming Systems machines feature TSL’s Tilt Technology, where the bottom platen rotates to allow automation to insert the labels and remove finished parts.

Shiffer said that a few weeks ago, Tech II began running parts on the second TSL thermoformer, an FT4K, a larger machine and complete production line that can mold up to 21 cavities. The FT4K is paired with an automation system from Ilsemann Automation of Bremen, Germany, and a mold from Mould & Matic Solutions GmbH of Micheldorf, Austria.

The second IML thermoformer is making a packaging product that will hit the market Aug. 1, Shiffer said.

He declined to give details about either of the thermoformed ILM products.

The core business of the family-owned Tech II is injection molding food containers, lids, bowls and cups. Tech II runs 50 injection molding machines, turning out 15 million pieces a day.

Tech II executives wanted to diversity into thermoforming — with IML, the first time the technology has been used in North America — to set the company apart.


Comments

Thermoforming IML pioneer Tech II adds line, and now extrudes its own sheet

By Bill Bregar
Senior Staff Reporter

Published: June 11, 2013 12:21 pm ET
Updated: June 11, 2013 12:24 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

EU moving closer to rules that will reduce plastic bag use by 80 percent

April 17, 2014 10:54 am ET

European Union countries could have to reduce the use of plastic shopping bags by at least 80 percent by 2019 under draft rules backed by the...    More

Image

Polyair rebuilds from Sandy with help from Process Control

April 16, 2014 4:11 pm ET

Hurricane Sandy gutted Polyair Inter Pack Inc.'s Carlstadt, N.J., plant more than a year ago, and Brian Clawson won't soon forget the devastation.    More

With European Parliament vote looming, official urges bag restriction

April 16, 2014 9:56 am ET

Janez Potocnik, Europe's commissioner for the environment, told the European Parliament April 15 that plastic shopping bags are a “highly...    More

Image

Austria's Greiner building a foothold in the US rigid packaging market

April 15, 2014 1:22 pm ET

Greiner Packaging International GmbH, one of Europe's largest makers of rigid plastic packaging, now wants to make its mark in the United States.    More

Image

RKW buys Hyplast, folds into RKW Agri

April 15, 2014 11:13 am ET

RKW SE, a Germany-based films and flexible packaging group, has announced it has acquired Belgium's Hyplast NV.    More

Market Reports

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Automotive Market Review and Outlook 2014 The Americas

This 75-page report features in-depth analysis of the automotive industry for the Americas. It includes discussions of market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting production and threats as well as design strategies being implemented by the major automakers. Detailed charts and data tables outline North American automotive production over the last five years.

Learn more

Plastics Building & Construction Market Review and Outlook 2014 with MS Excel chart data

This report provides in-depth analysis of the plastic building and construction market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats and the latest developments in construction trends that impact plastics processors.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events