At NPE 2003, Kiefel Technologies Inc. of Hampton, N.H., operated a $500,000, modular KMD 52 BFSS pressure forming machine that has a second punching station in addition to heating, forming, steel-rule cutting and stacking units. The KMD 52 is a small standard version with a maximum 520-millimeter-wide forming area. The KMD line includes units with 750mm and 1,000mm forming areas.
The equipment maker started a concentrated marketing effort in North America in 2003, said Thomas Halletz, a board member with parent firm Kiefel AG of Freilassing, Germany. Halletz has responsibility for sales, marketing and service activities for Kiefel's thermoforming and plastic-part welding lines.
Previously, some Kiefel customers would place machines in North America, but the new effort markets the firm's experience in thermoforming and joining technologies, especially in automotive, stationery, medical and packaging applications.
Kiefel introduced the KMD series in 1999 in Germany, and the largest model became available in late 2001. Subsequently, the firm improved the KMD rail-cooling system, heater banks and closed-loop controls. Kiefel can retrofit existing equipment with the improvements. A central system supplies lubrication to bearings, and controls are movable.
The equipment's ``long-lasting parts and very fast tool-change system'' result in low downtime, Halletz said. Tool changing occurs from the side of the machine in 20 minutes for a small installation and 30 minutes for a large machine.