an ILLIG IC-RDML 70 automatic thermoforming machine

IML-T: food packs directly decorated during thermoforming

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  • Rectangular PP cups manufactured using an 18-up mould
  • Labels made of all conventional materials can be processed
  • Every cavity can be loaded with individually printed label
  • ILLIG @AnugaFoodTec

The economic production of thermoformed food packs, decorated in the same working step using In-Mould Labeling Thermoforming (IML-T), will be demonstrated by ILLIG at the upcoming @AnugaFoodTec in Cologne, Germany.

Rectangular PP cups manufactured using an 18-up mould

At the trade fair the efficiency of this decoration method is presented by an ILLIG IC-RDML 70 automatic roll-fed machine, forming area 680 mm x 300 mm. Rectangular cups are manufactured from polypropylene using an 18-up mould. During the forming process the cups are decorated at the same time on the four side walls and also on the bottom. An IML-T unit designed for this process step removes the printed labels from a magazine and places them into the mould’s cavities in the thermoformer’s forming station. During the subsequent forming process when the plastic material turns into a pack of any given shape, cup or tray, the label bonds with the wall true to contour and permanently.

Labels made of all conventional materials can be processed

Using the IML-T technology numerous decoration options for food packs can be realized: With ILLIG’s IC-RDML 70 in-mould labeling station 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 areas can be labeled (including bottom decoration e.g. with integrated barcode as used on the cups produced at the trade fair). Thus a high quality appearance and function can be combined. A special benefit is provided by the large, usable decoration area which is also required, among other purposes, to meet the new legal obligation for the provision of nutritional information. Additionally, the label, subject to geometry and quality, can even contribute to pack rigidity which allows a reduction of the thickness of the packaging material used (savings in material costs) but still the required top load of the pack is maintained. Labels made of all conventional materials can be processed, such as PS (polystyrene) and PP (polypropylene) through to paper labels. Cleanly recyclable packs can be realized provided that label and cup material are matched accordingly.

Every cavity can be loaded with individually printed label

Every cavity can be loaded with an individually printed label which is a further benefit provided by the IML-T technology developed by ILLIG. This variability allows filling and packing of product families when the IML-T labeling unit is integrated e.g. in an FFS line with multi-lane filler. This was realized by ILLIG in the newly developed FSL 48 which has been producing in a dairy company for quite some time now. Product changes can thus be performed efficiently.

Picture: At Anuga FoodTec PP decorated parts are manufactured on an ILLIG IC-RDML 70 automatic thermoforming machine in one working step using an 18-up mold.

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