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A Fully Automated System Will Transform 900 Millions of Rimmed PP Cups a Year


During the months of June and July 2016, WM Thermoforming Machines will showcase two complete IN-LINE production plants INTEC FT 900/3 which will produce two-color disposable 8 and 10 Oz  cups made of multi-layer polypropylene. Both machines have been purchased by one of the lead­ing disposable item manufacturers in the Americas.

The INTEC FT 900/3 consists of an automatic dosing and feeding unit for raw material in granules, including the management and recycling system for the scrap material. Both lines are equipped with the latest generation of WM’s N.EXT extruders, which thanks to the new screw design, guarantees higher productivity, less power consumption and, at the same time, increases process stability and homogeneity.

The WM extrusion line consists of a main extruder with a screw diameter of 75mm where the regrinded material is mixed with the Polypropylene based material and filled with 70 percent of talc. The two co-extruders with a diameter of 45 mm are used for the outer colored layer. The total extrusion capacity of the group is 1’500 kg/h.

The flat die head of the extrusion unit feeds a vertical laminating calender with three rolls creating a sheet width of 930mm and a thickness ranging from 0.2 to 2 mm. The extruded sheet is then sent in line to the transporting system of the INTEC FT 900/3 thermoforming machine which use a tilting lower forming platen and a servo-assisted plugging unit. The forming tool will consist of a 54 cavity mold and can accommodate molds with a maximum size of 880x520 mm which clamping force is of 75,000 DaN. The tilting system of the movable lower platen is developed based on an innovative double DESMODROMIC system of cams and levers operated by a servomotor.

After simultaneous forming and in-mold trimming, the cups are removed from the bottom half-mold through a tilting plate rotating at 75 degrees which is driven by aspirated spindles. The cups are then transported and unloaded automatically into various rows on the conveyor belt feeding consecutively the WM’s in-house developed rimming unit consisting of three rotating screws.

This unit folds the upper edge of the cups prior to sending the piles to the counting, packing and boxing units.
The waste of the residual perforated polypropylene is ultimately sent in-line to a soundproofed grinding mill reducing the scrap into flakes in order to be blown into a dosing/mixing unit located above the extrusion unit. This creates a closed loop from the raw material to the finished product with the direct in-line recycling of wasted material.
The INTEC 900/3 can produce up to 120,000 pcs of 200 cc cups per hour, minimizing energy consumption using only one operator.


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