GEA to debut next-generation thermoforming packaging machine
The machine was presented to customers for the first time at GEA Packaging Days in Wallau, Germany, last year, and has undergone a number of redesigns including the sealing station, unwinding systems and bottom film infeed.
GEA Packaging Days
Volker Sassmannshausen, product manager, thermoforming, GEA, said, before developing the machine, it undertook a customer survey to get their feedback and made the changes based on that.
“The PowerPak PLUS thermoformer was completely redesigned to facilitate process transparency and traceability,” he said.
“The unwinding systems for both the top and bottom films have been optimized and are now motor-driven and synchronized with the machine’s advancing cycle.
“The sealing station design has also been updated. The entire top film unwinding system is located in the area of the sealing station and easily accessed.
“Typical tolerances of the film reels like misalignment or curvature can be automatically adjusted. In addition, the sealing station structure has been improved and is now protected by vertically adjustable and transparent safety doors.”
Sassmannshausen added other improvements include the sealing station, as well as motor-driven evacuation and gasification valves and pressure sensors.
The PowerPak PLUS thermoforming packaging machine is currently in use at Handl Tyrol since 2018 for packaging bacon products.
Dieter Roos, head of production, Handl Tyrol in Austria, said the machine model sets a benchmark in terms of film unwinding.
"The top and bottom film are threaded quickly and easily. No more adjustments are required, and film is no longer wasted," he said.
It has also seen shorter set-up times, which are now 70% quicker and has halved its film changeover times, with 75% less film being lost during changeovers and virtually zero packaging errors.
"Our thermoformers are user-friendly and process-reliable, delivering resource-savings while meeting the diverse and demanding requirements of the food packaging industry," added Sassmannshausen.