The shawpak Process


Summary

The shawpak process is inherently simple, but the machines comprehensive contol system, combined with superb mechanics, gives the shawpak the ability to produce thermoformed packs under the strictest control and to the most demanding specifications.

Its ability to process many wide ranging materials is second to none with output cycle speeds up to 25 per minute on flexible packs. The compactness of the machine and its true portability are unlike any other thermoformer currently available!

Base Web Unwind

Accurate tension and lateral tracking control of the baseweb are essential for reliable thermoforning. Ths shawpak has a unique DC motor driven unwind to control tension to the demands of the material be used. This flexible control means the shawpak can handle delicate 50 micron flexible films right through to 800 micron semi rigids. As well as tension control, web tracking and alignment are critical to ensure the web feeds on to the drum centrally and is captivated by the grippers each side. Lateral position can be adjusted in 0.1mm increments either manually or automatically with the Base Web Auto Tracking Option.

Film Forming Station

The 5 stage forming process has been developed specifically for the shawpak. Temperature, vacuum and compressed air are all used in combination to generate the perfect forming conditions for the film being processed. All settings are monitored each machine cycle and measured back to ensure the cycle has been completed to specification. The principles of the unique shawpak process eliminates the need for numerous vacuum holes on the theroforming cavity leading to high quality formings with minimal cosmetic witness marks. All form settings are logged for each job and restored the next time that particular tool set is to be run.

Product Loading Station

Product loading takes place at the very top of the drum. Generally one formed pocket will be loaded at a time while the drum is stationary. The loading area is guarded by a light curtain which ensures operative safety and can act as a go signal to start the next cycle. The small footprint of the shawpak makes it easy to integrate into many different production environments. Simple manual loading can take place from a workstation right the way through to full integration into an automated production cell. Machine height, process orientation and specific functions of the machine can all be customised to meet individual customer requirements.

Top Web Unwind

As with the base web, accurate tension and lateral tracking control of the topweb are essential for reliable lidding. The shawpak topweb unwind has the same DC motor driven unwind as the base web unwind. Tension is also controlled in order to register pre-printed web material into position. As well as tension control, web tracking and alignment are critical to ensure the top web feeds on to the drum in the required position. Lateral position can be adjusted in 0.1mm increments either manually or automatically with the Top Web Auto Tracking Option.

Sealing Station

Once loaded the drum will rotate. At this point the top web of material will be rolled onto the drum to captivate the product in the cavity prior to the sealing process. Once at the seal station the seal plate will operate to pre-defined time and pressure settings. The Airflex bellows system ensures the seal tool produces a perfectly even pressure over the required seal area. All process parameters are monitored each machine cycle and measured back to ensure the cycle has been completed to the set specification. As with the forming station, all settings are logged for each job and restored the next time the particular tool set is to be run.

Cutting

The shawpak has many different types of cutting available to suit the needs of the pack. These include Flying Knife, Crush Cut, Plunge Cut, Perforation, Die Cutting and Rotary Disc Cutting.

Outfeed Station

Once the product has been cut, grippers will release the product onto a discharge conveyor. Vacuum suckers will ensure the product is removed from the cavity under controlled conditions to ensure precise placement onto the conveyor and to confirm that the pack has been ejected from the forming drum. The discharge conveyor can be configured to suit individual customer requirements. Inspection systems can also be integrated at this stage.


The shawpak being so compact can offer unparalleled flexibility for how it is used.

Machine Pack
Product is loaded by an operator.
Work Assembly Station Pack
A shawpak is integrated within the operator workcell.
Conveyor Pack
Several operatives load a conveyor which loads a shawpak.
Automated Cell
shawpak is integrated into an automated cell and loaded automatically.
Direct From Injection Mould Machine
Moulding is loaded direct to shawpak by pick and place unit.
Hopper Fed / Bowl Feed
Hopper load product directly above shawpak.