ILLIG: Technical Training for Thermoformers - New Concept for Training Program

Since the beginning of this year ILLIG has been offering a completely new set of training courses for qualification of personnel in the thermoforming sector. Practically relevant theory imparted by means of interactive training material is directly broadened by hands-on exercises on respective machines. This Technical Training is offered at the ILLIG Training Center, Heilbronn, for a variety of machine types, both in German and English. In small groups the participants thus acquire skills in the operation of modern thermoforming machines in conjunction with valuable process know-how.

Growing use of complex electronic control systems and a multitude of process parameters are characterizing performance features of today´s thermoforming machines, whether sheet-fed or roll-fed version. Such versatility has become the key to efficient, fast and cost-efficient automatic manufacturing. On the other hand, it imposes a steady increase of demands in the day-to-day operation of equipment. A sound base of skills and know-how is therefore required and must broadly encompass anything from setting up and operating the machine through to preventive maintenance tasks.

In response to this trend of continuous staff qualification, ILLIG has newly added a set of practical courses for machine operators and setters to its training program. Covering a wide range machinery, the concept comprises courses on UA machines, RDM-K automatic roll-fed machines with tilting mold and shear cut as well as automatic roll-fed machines of the RDK/RDKP series with steel rule cutter. A feature common to all courses is a theory block focused on direct practical value combined with adequate scope for practical exercises. Repeated training of key skills on the equipment is a major element of this concept. The training courses are thus designed for attendance in small groups of up to eight participants.

Four days of intensive training
The practical courses dealing with the individual machine types are scheduled to last four days each. In the initial 2-day theory block, thermoforming fundamentals such as material characteristics, forming processes and heating techniques are addressed. This is followed by an introduction to the machine and its components, operating interface and operating philosophy. Each participant has access to interactive learning software based on a PowerPoint presentation reflecting the practical operation and functions of the machine in realistic terms, animated with pictures and films. This self-explanatory training material is also suitable for individual post-class study at home.

Days 3 and 4 of the course are dedicated to "hands-on" practice. The participants learn about basic machine setting (controls, computer-aided basic setting), how to insert the film roll (on roll-fed machines), carry out a mold change, optimize product quality and cycle times and, ultimately, conduct requisite maintenance steps. Thanks to its ambitious content, this Technical Training not only provides a sound background to the thermoforming novice but also enables experienced staff to upgrade their expertise.