GN Thermoforming Equipment demonstrates high-output lid production

The primary focus of Nova Scotia–based GN Thermoforming Equipment’s presentation at NPE2015 was not hard to identify: A GN760 plug-assist thermoformer for high-output production of PET lids for the food service market. The new model is larger than GN’s previous machines, featuring a forming area of 762 x 533 mm (30 x 21 in.), expanding GN’s line of plug-assist machines, and enabling the company to meet the demand for medium- to large-volume runs.

At the company’s booth (W-5583), the cut-in-place machine, equipped with a 20-up tool for PET lids that measure 5 in. (123 mm) in diameter, is capable of running at 28 cycles/min and producing 725,000 lids per day (approximately five million lids per week).

A leading manufacturer of roll-fed, in-mold cut thermoforming machines, GN Thermoforming originally developed for production of bakery and meat containers. Now, due to its low scrap rate, the GN760  has emerged as a highly viable option for lids for food service applications.

“We’ve perfected the process to meet the production requirements of U.S. manufacturers,” said Jerome Romkey, GN’s Marketing Manager. “The volumes with our machine are attractive to U.S. manufacturers, thus presenting us with a new market opportunity.”

Since its entry into the market, the GN760 has made inroads in the food packaging industry. Amid today’s rising cost of materials and the increased focus on sustainability, GN has developed innovative tooling technology that significantly reduces skeletal web scrap from approximately 18 to 30% when compared with typical form-cut-stack machines.

“With the escalating price of resins today and the need to reduce environmental footprints, our GN760 plug-assist thermoformer and novel common-edge tooling give processors an important edge to improve their profitability,” said Romkey.

The GN760 uses servo drives for plugging, material transport, stripping and stacking. It also boasts a radiant infrared heating system with 60 zones and an electronic regeneration system to reduce energy use. Because of their modest power consumption, GN thermoformers have earned the designation of Environmentally-Friendly Equipment with Low Carbon Footprint.

The machine’s significant scrap rate reduction is a major selling point with thermoformers, according to Romkey. Consequently, GN’s successful initial launch has resulted in machine sales to customers in the U.S., Canada, Poland, Russia, South Africa and Mexico. With the GN760’s high-output capability, GN is now also targeting leading U.S. lid manufacturers.