Austrian toolmaker and packaging molder C. A. Greiner & Sohne GmbH has broken into the thermoforming equipment manufacturing business with its Thermorunner TR4 machine.
Kremsmunster-based Greiner's subsidiary Greiner Mould & Machinery introduced the compact, fast-cycle polypropylene cup and dairy container machine last year, and expects to sell 20-25 units in its first year of production.
``We have had a lot of interest in our machines from the international market,'' said Mould & Machinery sales director Wolfgang Ohler. The company already has sold 12 units, and it plans to increase output to 30-35 next year.
Greiner decided to develop its own machinery because sister firm Greiner Packaging needed higher-speed machines. The firm developed a prototype machine in December 1997 and the first production model in June 1998.
Greiner outsources component production to several local Austrian suppliers, assembling and checking the machines for quality at its Kremsmunster plant.
Greiner also has linked up with extruder manker SML Extrusion Technology and printing equipment builder Van Dam Machine of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to develop a complete packaging system.
The TR4 features snap-on glass-fiber-reinforced panels for speedy installation and easy access for maintenance. The machine includes a pre-heating station to save space and makes use of sheet metal rather than ceramic heating elements to avoid ceramic heater damage.
Sheet transport and the forming station are AC servo-driven. The machine handles sheet as wide as 21.6 inches, and is capable of 50 dry cycles per minute, according to Greiner.