Inline Thermoforming

The in-line thermoforming process is designed to take advantage of the hot sheet coming off the extruder- The sheet is mechanically conveyed directly from the extruder through the oven to maintain the sheet at a forming temperature and then to the forming station. The forming step must be synchronized with the extruder take-off speed. This type of thermoforming is usually limited to sheet 0 125" or thinner and applications that do not require critical thermoforming. i.e.. optimum material distribution and close tolerances· This process Is more difficult to control than other thermoforming processes· The major disadvantage is that with the extruder and former being tied directly together an upset In one causes a shutdown in both. The majority of roll-fed machines or in-line machines are commonly used for the production of thin-walled products such as cups, trays, lids. internal packaging, and other finished products with a finished wall of 0.003 to 0.060+ in· in thickness. Because of the speed of these machines, secondary operations are incorporated within the unit. These may consist of printing, filling, sealing, die cutting, scrap cutting, or automated removal and stacking of finished product. The normal roll-fed machines consist of the roll station, upper and lower heating banks. form Station, cooling station, and trim station.