Single Station Thermoforming Machines

For Automotive - Interiors & Exterior Applications in Passenger & Commercial Vehicles, Sanitation - Bathtubs & Shower Cabinets, Material Handling - Pallets & Trays, Point of Sale Applications, etc.

Common Polymers used for Vacuum Forming: ABS, ABS/PMMA, PC, Acrylic, HIPS, HDPE - thickness range 2 to 12 mm - cut sheet
Common Polymers used for Vacuum Lamination: TPO, TEPEO2, PVC - upto 2 mm - roll

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PF1® Series - 5th Generation VACUUM FORMING MACHINE 2018: The Polymer Forming 1 (PF1®) Series is Machinecraft’s proprietary design of thermoforming machine for processing large sheets of thermoplastic materials. The 5th generation machine design, launched in 2018 has evolved since 1998. The machines are designed as per CE safety standards.

Depending on the Type of Polymer to be processed, there are 3 x types of Single Station Thermoforming Machines. Machinecraft’s modular design helps you choose the right machine suited for your product needs, each machine module has a number of options to choose from depending on the part volume expected and the amount of automation required.

 
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Machine Modules and Choices to Make

 

Module 1: Frame & Tool Setting Systems

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Frame Setting Concepts

There are 2 x Frames – Bottom Frame & Top Frame which can either be Individual Frames - Top & Bottom or Universal Frames - driven individually by 4 x servo motors for the Bottom Frame & 2 x servo motors for the Top Frame

Tool Setting Concepts

There are 4 x types of tool loading and clamping systems possible on the machine: manual clamping using bolts, pneumatic clamping with bolster from the centre, pneumatic clamping from the side and Quick Tool Change with Vacuum Locking

 

Module 2: Thermoplastic Sheet / Foil Loading & Clamping

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Sheet / Foil Loading Concepts

The Sheet/Foil can be loaded into the machine 3 x ways: Manual Sheet Loading, Automatic Sheet Loading with Part Unloading and using a Roll Feeder – Manual & Chain Driven

Sheet / Foil Clamping Concepts

The Sheet/Foil can be clamped either using pneumatic cylinders or electrically using servo motors depending on the choice of drives for Table 1

 

Module 3: Heater Bank Movement & Element Options

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Heater Movement Concepts

The Heater Movement can be either Pneumatic using 3 x pneumatic cylinders - 1 x for the top heater bank and 2 x for the bottom heater bank or electric driven using individual servo motors for top and bottom heater bank. The choice is made depending on the choice of polymers to be processed on the machine. Electric heaters can be taken back faster than pneumatic option - useful for polymers with a short “thermoform-able” window.

Heater Element Concepts

There are 3 x types of heater elements to choose from: IR Ceramic Long Wave, Energy Saving Quartz Medium Wave and Fast Reacting Halogen – Short Wave depending on the choice of polymer to be processed.

 

Module 4: Sensors on the Machine

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Temperature Sensing

Elements with thermocouple are used in case of ceramic & quartz to communicate with the PLC the element temperature. IR sheet temp readers are used to provide closed loop control by providing the real sheet temperature information to the control system

Sag Control

Air is blown below the sheet to make sure it does not sag below a certain level. This is for the safety of the elements on the bottom heater. To make sure the sheet does not stick to the bottom heater bank causing damage to the machine. There are IR level detectors which act as sensors for sag control

Pre Blow Control

Machine is closed chamber design - meaning the box below the foil is air tight and sealed. To allow blowing of air below the sheet to make it like a bubble. This allows even material distribution. Height adjustable IR level detectors act as pre-blow height controllers by providing data to the PLC about the pre blow bubble height

 

Module 5: Table 1 and 2 Options

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Table 1 Movement Concepts

Table below the foil is Table 1. This is also known as Mould Platen - it can be Pneumatic Driven using 4 x cylinders working in sync. using a rack and pinion mechanism or Electric Driven using 2 x servo motors working in sync. using chain design - depending on customer product portfolio and desired cycle time.

Table 2 Movement Concepts

Table above the foil is Table 2. This is also known as Plug Platen - it can be Pneumatic Driven using 2 x cylinders working in sync. using a rack and pinion mechanism or Electric Driven using 1 x servo motors working in sync. using geared rack design - depending on customer product portfolio and desired cycle time.

 

Client Country: The Netherlands
Production Time: 24 weeks
Made in India
CE Safety

The machine in the video is PF1 Series - 5th generation with the following specs:

  • max. forming area: 1 x 1.5 m, stroke: 500 mm

  • polymers to be processed by customer: ABS, HIPS, Acrylic

  • frame setting - universal bottom & top frame

  • tool setting - pneumatic from centre with bolster for the tool

  • automatic sheet loader unit - servo driven

  • pneumatic sheet clamping

  • heater movement pneumatic and IR ceramic heating elements

  • IR sheet temp. reader for heating & cooling cycles, preblow and sag control

  • table 1 - movement pneumatic, table 2 - movement pneumatic

  • make of components: pneumatics - FESTO, PLC/HMI - Mitsubishi, Servo/Drives - Mitsubishi, Gearbox - Bonfiglioli, Sensors - PnF, Light Guards - PnF, Vacuum Pump - Busch Germany, Heating Elements - Elstein Germany

  • Cycle Time: < 2 mins (for 2.5 mm ABS sheet)

 

Client Country: Mexico
Production Time: 18 weeks
Made in India

The machine in the video is PF1 Series - 4th generation with the following specs:

  • max. forming area: 1 x 1.5 m, stroke: 500 mm

  • polymers to be processed by customer: HDPE, ABS

  • frame setting - individual bottom & top frame

  • tool setting - manual using bolts

  • manual sheet loading

  • pneumatic sheet clamping

  • heater movement pneumatic and IR ceramic heating elements

  • IR sheet temp. reader for heating & cooling cycles, preblow and sag control

  • table 1 - movement pneumatic, table 2 - movement pneumatic

  • make of components: pneumatics - FESTO, PLC/HMI - Mitsubishi, Sensors - PnF, Light Guards - PnF, Vacuum Pump - Busch Germany, Heating Elements - Elstein Germany

  • Cycle Time: < 6 mins (for 2.5 mm HDPE sheet)

 

Client Country: India
Production Time: 20 weeks
Made in India

The machine in the video is PF1 Series - 4th generation with the following specs:

  • max. forming area: 1.5 x 2 m, stroke: 500 mm

  • polymers to be processed by customer: ABS, HDPE, PS

  • frame setting - individual bottom & top frame

  • tool setting - manual using bolts

  • manual sheet loading

  • pneumatic sheet clamping

  • heater movement pneumatic and IR ceramic heating elements

  • IR sheet temp. reader for heating & cooling cycles, preblow and sag control

  • table 1 - SERVO Driven, table 2 - movement pneumatic

  • make of components: pneumatics - FESTO, PLC/HMI - Mitsubishi, Sensors - PnF, Light Guards - PnF, Vacuum Pump - Busch Germany, Heating Elements - Elstein Germany

  • Cycle Time: < 4 mins (for 2.5 mm ABS sheet)

 
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Some of the Machines built by Machinecraft: Highly Flexible Systems designed as per customer requirements

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Technical Specifications

PF1 machines are available in a variety forming area and stroke options. These machines can also be designed to achieve special forming areas and depths as required.

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What can you make with PF1?

The PF1 Series caters to a wide variety of industries such as Automotive Components, Transportation Pallets, Industrial Applications, Sanitary, Skylights, Refrigerator Parts, Bus Body Parts, Bathtubs, Roofing Sheets, Machine Covers, Point of Purchase, Agricultural Products, Signages, etc.

 

Dual partnership structure - Machinecraft + FRIMO

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Starting 2019, company FRIMO will be supporting Machinecraft with sales & service for Machinecraft’s Single Station Thermoforming Machines for Automotive Industry in Europe, China and India. The machines will be co-designed by Machinecraft & FRIMO but manufactured in India to meet the design specs for the automotive industry.

 

Mr. Rushabh Doshi, heads the Technical Sales for FRIMO India and co-ordinates with company FRIMO to support customer queries for the Single Station Thermoforming Machine

To know more about Machinecraft’s Single Station Thermoforming Machines and FRIMO’s Single Stop Technologies for Automotive Interior & Exterior Applications, you can email on doshi.r@frimo.com

 
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