WM Thermoforming Machines SA developed an advanced process to help a customer in Asia form disposable high-thickness cups.
Thickness is an important characteristic in the huge Asian market, according to Luca Oliverio, commercial director of the Swiss machine maker.
For example, he said, in the West, an industrial flat edge cup in PET or polypropylene with a volume of 650 cc is thermoformed with a thickness of 1.2 millimeters, while in the East, it is at least 3.2 mm thick.
The thickness is more than double, Oliverio noted, adding the local market demands this characteristic.
“In China, the medium-high production of disposable cups is in the hands of companies that produce beverages, such as milk tea, which after filling the glass and sealing it with a heat-sealed film, proceed with the packaging and then take care of selling the finished product to large retailers,” Oliverio said in a news release.
To adjust operations for the thicker material, WM technicians looked at ways to optimize the mold closures rather than calibrate the power of the plugs.
“Having understood the customer’s needs, we started exchanging ideas with our most qualified ball screw suppliers, and this partnership-focused approach resulted in a mix of motor, screw, speed and power that has allowed WM to break through the Asian market, has brought about a significant business for our partners, and has guaranteed a relevant competitiveness to our customers,” Oliverio said.
This case shows the value that machine makers like WM provide by having an open social and technical system, he added.