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 Thermoforming Machine:  

Thermoforming is a plastic moulding process. It can be used for various products. In Packaging, thermoforming can be done inline as part of the packaging process or it may be done offline.

Thermoformed packages, especially for smaller size products and packages are often called "blister" packs.

The thermoforming process consists of heating the film, forming cavities (Pockets), loading product, sealing the backing film and trimming the final package.

Usually, the film is supplied in roll stock.

Plastic film is drawn off a supply roll and passes between upper and lower heater plates.

These plates soften the film to make it pliable, one heater plate may be used but two will give better heat distribution and help avoid problems in the forming process. The softened film moves to a forming station where the cavities are formed.This station contains an upper and lower forming die. Usually, the lower female die determines the final shape of the cavity.

Once the cavities have been formed, the film indexes to a cooling station where it is cooled to set the cavities. After forming and cooling, the film moves to a filling or loading section. In this section, the product is placed in the individual pockets or cavities. A variety of filling techniques can be used to load the product.

Once the thermoform cavities have been filled, they must be closed. Many times, this is done with a foil, plastic or paper backing film supplied on a roll. When this is the case, the backing film is unwound and laid over the lower film and product. As the backing film is laid over the lower film, it passes through a sealing station. This sealing station may either be a pair of sealing plates operating intermittently or a pair of rollers operating continuously. Sealing is always a matter of time, temperature and pressure.

After sealing, the film passes to a cutting station where it is cut into the finished package. This cutting may be done by knives and slitters if a square or rectangular package is acceptable.

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