For the first time in the company’s 39-year history, a customer of WM Thermoforming Machines SA started up a new machine without the presence of one of the Swiss manufacturer’s technicians.
Upax-Unity LLC in Perm, Russia, bought three WM thermoformers in 2019 to produce polypropylene cups and food containers. It took delivery of them just before the COVID-19 pandemic.
WM says it was impossible to send one of their technicians to the site to supervise the installation and commissioning of the machines, but the thermoformer needed to put them into production as soon as possible for its dairy and food packaging customers.
This was an unforeseeable and unprecedented situation, according to WM Thermforming, and the solution came in the form of a unique feature of their machines, with no assembly required.
WM Thermoforming machines are delivered fully assembled in a single frame with all connections set up between the electrical cabinet and machine components.
“Thanks to this feature, Upax-Unity technicians were able to put the machines in place and connect all utilities — cooling water, power supply, pressed air — to the equipment just relying on the instruction manual,” according to a WM Thermoformer news release.
The Upax-Unity staff handled the placement and installation of the two steel rule cutting machines, model FC 780 E and FC 780 HP, as well as for the tilting machine model Twist 700 MSv7. The process took about a week in total, or 1½ days for each machine.
Upax-Unity’s senior project leader, Mikhail Tsirkulev, then went to the factory to oversee the online commissioning of the three thermoformers with support from the WM service department in Stabio, where the machine maker is based. The remote commissioning process took an hour or two for each machine.
“The big advantage of WM machinery is the presence of a self-adjustment setting when using a new mold for the first time,” Tsirkulev said in the release. “Thanks to that, we were able to produce many different thermoformed articles within some days. Thanks to the user-friendly graphic design and easy to understand PLC pages, we didn’t face any difficulties when putting the machines in production.”
Founded in 1991, Upax-Unity producing disposable tableware, plastic food containers and packaging for dairy and fat-and-oil products.