At this year´s Anuga FoodTec, Cologne, Illig, the thermoforming specialist, received the "Dairy Technology Award 2012" on March 28. The price donated by "Molkerei-Industrie and "IDM International Dairy Magazine" magazines as well as "Verein der Ahlemer Ingenieure acknowledges successful realization of technical innovations in the dairy and food industry. Illig received this award for the development of the so-called Open-Mold Technology. Using this technology, containers featuring pronounced undercuts in their contour can be manufactured in serial thermoforming production for the first time. So far being the domain of injection and blow molding, undercut thermoforming now allows e.g. the production of distinctively designed cups for yogurt, jam, bread spread or pudding through to containers for juice, isotonic drinks or drinking yogurt. Moreover, application of this technology provides the advantage of material saving by maintaining the demanded pack stability. This technology was realized in the BF 70 forming and punching machine. Its concept is based on Illig´s long-term experience in cup forming and dairy machines and the machine is also suitable for direct interlinkage with fill and seal lines.
Once again, many companies submitted their innovations and further developments to be considered for the Dairy Technology Award which is presented every three years. Four developments out of the submitted innovations were awarded with a certificate by the jury, consisting of renowned experts from the food sector, during the official award ceremony at Anuga FoodTec. Illig´s development was particularly emphasized by being awarded the "Dairy-Technology-Award Trophy". "Methods, line components or complete production units and/or relevant problem solutions which entail clearly apparent advantages for the whole branch and/or mean a technological advantage" can be awarded according to announcement.
In addition to providing design variety, the most important benefit of products manufactured with Illig undercut technology is - in particular - the unit weight: Subject to application, thermoformed packs weigh up to 40 % less than injection of blow molded articles. Considering today´s aimed-at objectives, resource conservation and cost reduction, this technology provides an enormous economic benefit and, moreover, is combined with distinctive pack design for immediate recognition on the shelf. Even though substantial weight saving is achieved, pack rigidity and stability (top load) demanded for the respective application are reliably maintained thanks to reproducibly mastered process control in thermoforming.
To be able thermoform products with undercut, the forming station of a BF 70 thermoformer is equipped with a divided lower tool part with movable segments. At the same time forming sequencing takes place in such a way that a large depth of draw is achieved with uniform wall thickness distribution even with a small start-up area. The machine, completely made of stainless steel, thus allows direct interlinkage with a fill and seal line. Performance of the high-speed BF 70 is adjusted to the performance of FS lines currently used. Product forming with sterile air is also possible.
The BF 70 thermoformer is roll-fed. As customary in standard thermoforming procedures, the material heated up to forming temperature is formed in the forming station. Subsequently, the formed parts are separated from the skeletal in the punching station using steel rule dies. All plastics used for food packing can be processed.
About Illig Illig is a global leading supplier of high-performance production lines and molds for thermoforming plastic materials as well as of solutions for the packaging industry. The company´s product and services portfolio comprises the development, design, fabrication, installation and start-up of complex manufacturing lines and individual components. With branch establishments and agencies in over 80 countries, Illig is locally present in all markets around the globe. For more than 65 years, this owner-managed enterprise has been serving its worldwide clientele as a partner in cost-efficient thermoplastic molding of sophisticated precision parts backed by innovative technology of unsurpassed quality and a comprehensive worldwide after-sales support.