SCHAUMBURG, ILL. — Thermoforming industry veteran Kent Johansson has a new gig: Running a U.S. facility for Swiss sheet line and thermoforming machinery maker WM Wrapping Machinery SA.
That name does not roll of the tongue of U.S. formers, but Johannson, an outgoing man, plans to change that. WM is the “new kid on the block,” he said in a technical presentation just off the trade show floor at the Society of Plastics Engineers Thermoforming Conference. The company also exhibited at the event, held Sept. 15-18 in Schaumburg.
Johannson said WM Wrapping will exhibit at NPE 2015, showing a large FT tilting-platen machine forming products from roll-stock. After NPE, the machine will be moved to the WM facility in Elkhorn, Wis., where it will be paired with an extruder already there to create a complete inline system.
The 40,000-square-foot building has a 2,000-square-foot technical center for developing food packaging, medical packaging and evaluating resin.
Johansson also is handling thermoforming molds for Milan, Italy-based Termostampi srl.
WM Wrapping is based in Stabio, Switzerland. “We have machines for every application,” Johansson said.
The company makes Speedmaster-Plus machines with in-line steel cutting on two, three or four stations. They feature one-hour mold change. The machines come in clamping forces up to 143 tons.
WM's FT series of tilting-platen machines do in-line forming, direct from a sheet extrusion line. Johansson said they can do 55 cycles a minute with steel roll trimming. FT former come up to 83 tons.
WM Wrapping supplies the complete line, including the extruder, chill rolls, calendering equipment, robot stackers, in-mold cutting systems and equipment for labeling and marking.
The thermoforming machines have an MLS controller, which stands for “machine learning system.” Johansson said WM developed the software for the controller, built by B&R in Austria.
The MLS calculates factors such as correct closing force and trim force.