In-line thermoforming machines are dedicated to the production of refrigerator inner doors and inner liners. They are available in different configurations, depending on the customer’s production requirements. All thermoformable materials used in the refrigerator sector, such as ABS, PS and HIPS, can be processed on QS Group systems.
Thermoforming machines consist of several stations to guarantee high productivity and process repeatability. The feeding, that can be done from either sheet or coil, takes place in automatic mode. The material handling between the working stations is carried out through “forward/backward” gripper or chain conveyors.
The forming station can use the different established technologies: blow moulding termed “Bubble Blow Vacuum Forming”, with a balloon obtained by blowing air from the blow box; universal bell moulding termed “Snap-Back Vacuum Forming”, with a balloon obtained by applying a vacuum from a universal bell; nominal bell moulding termed “Vacuum-Pressure Forming_VPF” using a particular combination of mechanical moulding, vacuum and pressure.
Lastly, the “Vacuum-Pressure Forming and Trimming_VPF-T”, a technology applied mainly in the production of refrigerator inner doors, where perimeter cutting takes place inside the forming station. The proposed solution has a productivity of 310 doors/hour with a material thickness of 1.2 mm and the mould changeover time is only 4 minutes. Thanks to this process, the customer may achieve a 30% reduction in material thickness, resulting in important cost savings.
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