Compact and modular

New generation EcoForm single-station machines in modular configuration

09 / 2012 - With the recently developed, all-new generation of FRIMO EcoForm thermoforming machines, FRIMO presents a highly modular system which can be configured flexibly as single or multiple station machines. In this way, the layout of an EcoForm system comprises modules which can be combined to create an optimally tailored machine to meet the customers specific needs. The basic variant is the classic single-station machine, which can be configured both as a thermoforming unit for processing soft films – for automotive interiors, for example – and for the vacuum forming of sheet materials for all kinds of technical parts. That basic arrangement is equipped with a pre-blow box and an upper table. One of the first expansion modules to consider is a chain rail for transporting or alternatively, a sheet conveyor. Both for the vacuum-forming of flatware and the thermoforming of films, a preheating section can be added to the EcoForm. Another possible expansion module is a second upper table – for a trimming option in vacuum lamination, for example.
A series of measures has enabled FRIMO to improve the energy efficiency of the new EcoForm generation considerably. These include the consistent use of electric drives, for example. Both the lower and upper table, and also the clamping frame, are driven by high efficiency, energy saving motors. And with the corresponding deceleration ramps, energy is recovered to the intermediate circuit of the frequency converter.
The previous EcoForm generations feature a lift drive with a well known and proven system in which the lower table moves by climbing round gear racks. An advanced version of that system has been developed and is now used on all three lift drives. This mechanically simplified yet extremely robust system ensures exceptionally high precision with respect to parallelism, guidance and centering. At the same time, it is also highly dynamic and permits rapid movements.
In addition, the gear rack system makes it possible to hold the table drive with suitable clamping elements after the stop. As a result, high table and clamping forces can be absorbed – the high relaining forces required in compressed air forming, for example.
One of the major benefits of this design, which is apparent at first glance, is the low overall height of the machine.  No gear racks or pneumatic cylinders extend beyond the top of the machine, so the risk of suspended loads striking the machine is minimised. The customer also has greater flexibility when it comes to selecting a location for the machine.
Other energy efficiency enhancements include heat reduction through insulation of the main heater. Optional use of a frequency-controlled vacuum pump optionally eliminates the need for a vacuum tank. Another energy-saving option is the optional elimination of the pre-blowing box.
In order to enhance air cooling efficiency, FRIMO further developed and optimised the cooling air distribution system. In place of simple diffusing blowers, the cooling air is directed much more efficiently to the moulded part through a system of air ducts with corresponding nozzles. This not only reduces cycle times, but also eliminates the need for the high-maintenance spray cooling systems often used in the past.

Benefits of the new EcoForm generation
Modular configuration
Drive systems:  Lower table, upper table and clamping frame driven by servomotors
All drives climb round gear racks

  • Extremely robust
  • Extremely precise (parallelism, guidance, centering)
  • Extremely dynamic – rapid displacements


Table drives can be clamped

  • Absorption of high table and retaining forces

Lower overall machine height, no gear racks or pneumatic cylinders extend above the top of the machine


Energy efficiency:

  • Main heater is thermally insulated and a wind deflector shields it from the forming station
  • Frequency-controlled vacuum pump permits elimination of the vacuum tank (optional)
  • Pre-blowing box can be eliminated (optional)
  • Drives with high-efficiency energy-saving motors
  • With the table motor deceleration ramps, energy can be recovered to the intermediate circuit of the frequency converter.
  • Advanced cooling system:
  • Instead of diffusing blowers, directed air flow through innovative cooling air distribution system with slot-shaped nozzles (cycle time reduction)

 

Contact for further information and documentation

FRIMO Group GmbH
Martina Schierholt
Hansaring 6
D-49504 Lotte

Phone.: +49 (0) 54 04 / 8 86 - 1 57
Fax: +49 (0) 54 04 / 8 86 - 51 57
E-Mail: schierholt.m[at]frimo.com

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