08/02/2010

Cannon S.p.A.

ADJUSTABLE PLATES AND EVOLUTION OF CANNON THERMOFORMING MACHINES

If you ever dreamed of having a thermoforming machine so...
• Adjustable: no extra tooling, just the mould…
• Quick in tool change: just slide the tool in and lock it in place!
• Fast: to produce all of that stuff by tomorrow!
• With memory: So it could remember all the settings of the last time you put in production that tool and the parts
where so nice and thick from such a thin sheet…
• Stable and precise: that could repeat itself at every cycle, night and day, in summer and winter time…
• Flexible: vacuum or pressure forming, single sheet or double sheet, whichever thickness of whatever material!
• Eco-friendly: that makes use of the energy in a clever way!
• Safe: designed and built with all safety criteria in mind!
…then keep reading this article.
The new Luce - Italian for "light, brightness" - range of thermoforming machines by Cannon has been launched
successfully on the market. It's not a revolution, but an evolution that starts deep inside from the roots. And your
dream might become true!

Adjustable plates
The main characteristics at the basis of this success are related to the flexibility and efficiency in tool change, as is so
important for the customers. Cannon have developed a new patented system already in production by different
customers around the world. Forget about the hassles of the dedicated reduction plates and finding the room to store
them. Also no need of extra money invested in new tooling whenever you have a new tool for production.
This flexible system of plates slides to the desired mould size from 100% of the machine maximum size to a minimum of
almost 50%. No loose pieces to dedicate the aperture to the mould size, simply reload the receipt of the part in the
operator panel and the plates slide automatically.

With the Cannon system, also, do not make without all the features you need:
• Stepless, this system can be adjusted continuously along its whole range without having to add any part or frame.
The top level of the plates is made in a way that the plastic sheet lays flat on the gasket that seals the vacuum chamber.
The bottom level of the plates as well allows the mould to completely seal this chamber. This makes the system tight
for balloon blowing and for vacuum forming.
• Use the loading system that suites to your needs: carriage loader or chain transport system. Spike chains can
transport and allow two sides pre-heating or even heating out of the forming station, in a dedicated heating station.
This feature is absolutely unique on the market, original and patented. No other builder of thermoforming machines is
able to fit at the same time chain transport and adjustable plates!
• Temperature control of the plates. To avoid the machine getting too hot and to loose control of the perimetral edge
of the parts and their flatness we can incorporate into the adjustable plates channels to let water flow or, when the
case, oil to temperature-control the perimeter close to the boundary of the plastic part.
• Keep compatibility with your existing tool.
As long as your tools have a sealing edge, there is no problem. The same if it has a flat gasket on the mould base
to be compressed up against the aperture plate.
• Reduction of the floor space occupied by the machine.
The plates fit in a limited room thanks to their telescopic concept. Maximum range of adjustment in the minimum
lay-out.
• Possible automatic adjustment of the plates.
The operator can memorise in the operating panel the position of the plates and recall them during tool change.

Also the upper clamp frame can be automatically adjusted to the right position according to the mould and sheet size.
And this is coupled to the features we consider important on the clamp frame: a blade to maximize the grip, possibility to
adjust the gripping locally along the perimeter, "L" shape of the clamp frame to improve the heating in the perimeter of
the sheets, temperature control.
• Adjustable centering system for the automatic sheet loader. When this device is fitted, it is possible to automatically
adjust the nominal position where the centering device positions the sheets from the stack of the pallet
• Servo motors. If these are fitted it is possible to adjust the stroke and speeds of the mould table and of the plug assist.

Quick in tool change.
Cannon can offer the following features to those who are producing in small batches and need to change over the
mould rapidly:
• All of above for adjustability. Adjustment makes things quicker also because the machine can do it in hidden time
(e.g. while the operator changes the pallet in the sheet loader).
• Fast tool change system: automatic door opening, automatic locking of the mould, automatic connection of
the mould to services (water or air).
• Two common mould plates: one plate, many moulds. One plate in the machine with the mould in operation,
another one to mount the mould on off-line.
• Loader: the platen slides out of the loader to position easily the pallet of the sheets.
• Double trolley for ergonomic mould-in mould-out, with mould pre-heating.
• Quick heaters for a fast change of the heating zoning (halogen, Speedium or quartz heaters)

Fast
Every movement in every second has been optimised.
Tell us if speed is critical: we made moulds moving up to 1,000 mm/s! Fast cycles are actually more affected by heating
and cooling.
• Heating: the best option today on the market is the Speedium heating element. It gives its most on black,
orange peel surfaces of polyolefins, but generally its outperforming ceramic and even quartz elements.
At Cannon we have characterised the elements against several material types and can suggest the best option.
• Cooling: chilled air can be added to standard or increased power of fans at variable speed, spray mist and local cooling

Memory
If the machine remembers its settings (and you know how many parameters there are in thermoforming and how fine
must be the setting to get the right quality) then tool change can be really quick: being able to recall the proper setting is the
only way to get a low part-to-part time. Using proportional valves the operator can set the values and recall them at the
next tool use. With servo movement one can store also speeds (useful especially during mold extraction) and strokes.
Of course all the setting of the heating system can be saved as before with the Siemens heating controller.

Stable and precise
Proper machine design and construction can obtain good results by protecting the mechanical parts from overheating
during long shifts, but this is important also for stability of the machine behaviour part after part.
Our machine have heating reflectors to dissipate heat and mould box venting. Heat is reflected to the sheet while
heating; while the heaters do not work, heat is reflected back to the heaters, with the double result of saving more energy
and warming up less the machine.

From this point of view, it's worth to mention that halogen lamps can be switched on and off in seconds: this means that
in idle time they are completely off and avoid any heat build up. Ask us about this specific behaviour and we'll be able to
show you results and comparisons. Stability is also achieved when the performance of the heating system are completely
under control.

Cannon can offer a "live" close loop control, based on the real temperature of the plastic sheet while heating.
This is something completely new: no more "close loop" on the next sheet with a thermo graphic scanner (that's not a real
close loop).

The Cannon "live" close loop control can let the plastic sheet follow a preset curve of heating adapting the power of each
heating element independently to the real temperature of the plastic sheets in every instant during the heating cycle.
In this way the operator is able to record the master curve of heating of the best sample and the heating control will try to
reproduce it on the next parts.
Talking about stability and precision, the servo motor solution are the best solutions to guarantee positions and speeds always
repeatable.

Quicker set-up of new tools.
Cannon software includes a number of friendly short cuts to make a new good part program in very short time. Try it!

Flexible
Your parts may require several technologies of thermoforming (i.e. vacuum or pressure forming, twin sheet)
but none of them justifies completely an investment as the numbers are too low? Cannon can propose the machine that
can within minutes convert from single sheet to double sheet or to pressure forming.

Eco-friendly
With Cannon solutions you can save energy and material, thanks to:
• Reduced clamping area (less scrap)
• Halogen heaters for better efficiency: save up to 25%!
• Halogen heaters are completely off in rest position (60% of the cycle time!)
• Reflective panels and parabolas to dissipate the minimum of energy
• Servo motors for maximum efficiency

Do not make steps: take the Cannon Luce elevator!
Come and see it in production at our customers’ place.
(www.cannonforma.com)