Equipment maker OMV Machinery srl of Verona, Italy, is focusing on a market outside its usual sphere of large-platen thermoforming products.
OMV is targeting the market for high-end, close-tolerance food packaging such as containers and lids with in-mold labels. Other emphases: source reduction and lighter weight.
“We can compete vs. injection molders such as Netstal and Husky,” Kent Johansson said in an April 5 interview during NPE2012 in Orlando.
He is president and CEO of the company's OMV USA Inc. unit in Elkhorn, Wis.
With OMV's thermoforming technology, a container is slightly lighter than with injection molding, and an in-mold label and lid weigh one-half of that made using injection molding, he said.
“We can make labels at the same price as injection molding them” for a new project, but not as a modification for an established product line, he said.
OMV needed to deal with the different shrinkages between a label and a lid.
“We found ways to overcome that by a lid panel design and through working closely with label manufacturers to make a suitable label,” Johansson said.
“We sold our first lid machine to a customer in Egypt and plan to deliver by the end of April,” he said. OMV sold two other machines — one for lids and the other for containers — to a customer in Australia for delivery by the end of September.
On the NPE2012 show floor, however, OMV operated a new model of its F88 large-platen single-station machine with an OMV-built, 28-cavity mold to produce 16-ounce salad bowls using pre-extruded roll sheet made of ExxonMobil's clear polypropylene 6262 resin and Vistamaxx 6102 propylene-based elastomer.
The F88 can operate at 32 cycles per minute with a preheater, or 35 cycles per minute in-line with an extruder.
The in-mold trim was automatically directed into an operating granulator from Tria America LLC of Charlotte, N.C., a subsidiary of Tria SpA of Milan.
The modular F88 costs less than $800,000 and is suitable for thin-gauge thermoforming of trays, domes and bowls.
OMV filed in 2011 for worldwide patent protection on the mold design for in-mold trimming without steel-rule cutting, said Johansson, who started in the business as a mechanical engineer.
OMV also designs and manufactures extruders for production of plastic sheet. The company also makes four sizes of calenders and produces reel winders.