SHAWPAK - The Revolutionary Thermoformed Packaging Solution
The SHAWPAK is a revolutionary machine that offers a unique thermoforming solution for your packaging needs. In the smallest of spaces, one person operates the machine or the products are loaded and packaged online by a robot directly into the packaging.
RIVERSIDE MEDICAL Packaging Co. Ltd, based in Derby, England, which previously manufactured blister packaging machines, has found a remedy for the headache, originally thermoforming machines from other companies were used - now with the good new idea you have in short invented your own thermoforming machine.
In Europe the Shawpak thermoformers are known or in the USA they are known as SP thermoformers. The new compact thermoforming machine with arranged stations, which is not built around a linear but around a servo indexing drum. The official US debut was presented at the Pack-Expo in October 2018 in Chicago.
"We have the concept of a long linear machine and rolled it into a carousel machine."
said Bob Hartwig, co-founder and Managing Director of BTS International, which represents the new thermoformer in the USA. These "radical" thermoformers with their unique design have several advantages: space saving, elimination of cut waste, reduced energy consumption and fewer maintenance requirements.
The heart of the process is an indexing roller. For example, a Ferris wheel with blades distributed over the diameter at the same distance. The drum has several tasks, which are called facets. Each facet is the home of one or more cavities / benefits, depending on the application. The drum can be compared to a clock and performs various process functions.
The process begins at the 3 o'clock position, where the bottom film is fed, and ends there in the empty cavity or cavities in the adjacent facet. The machine forms the film with compressed air and heat from a heating plate into its cavity.
The wheel then indexes and moves counterclockwise. At the 12 o'clock position, there is an operator or robot, who inserts the product or several products into the cavity/moulded panel preformed with the film. The wheel rotates to the 11 o'clock position. There, the machine adds the top film via the mould cavity. In the 9 o'clock position, air and heat are used to seal the package.
In the 6 o'clock position, the machine ejects the completely formed and sealed package.
Although originally designed for the production of packaging for medical parts, such as syringes or surgical gauze, the machine is suitable for a number of other applications. The applications are suitable for industrial products as well as for the production of packaging for the food industry for humans and animals. With this thermoforming machine, both rigid and flexible packaging can be produced from any material.
The current range consists of eight different models. Each is named after its dimensions in centimetres, its maximum web width and its maximum index distance length. For example, the smallest is the SP-22/20, which has a maximum web width of 220mm and a maximum index/pull-off of 200mm. The largest model is the SP-62/25 with film width x index length of 620mm x 250mm.
The machines can be adapted so that certain applications are located at independent stations.
Depending on customer requirements, the film rolls can also be positioned outside the machine. Such configurations can then extend the total width of the drum and formats.
The SP formers require a space between approx. 35 cubic meters and 53 cubic meters. With a length of approx. 1,340mm to 1,465mm, they are able to take up only half or a quarter of the length of conventional thermoformers.
Depending on the application, they can produce up to 300 packs per minute of small, flexible and automated products.
Our customers say, "Wow, that's the whole packaging machine!"
Inspired by some 40 years experience in packaging manufacturing, Riverside has designed the machines to fully meet the demands and needs of the market and can now offer them around the world.
Recently, an optional external punching station was introduced on the machine.
In addition to saving space, the machines have also been optimised in terms of film requirements and allow simplified and reduced maintenance.
"That's what happens when an engineer thinks outside the box, an innovation is born, the product is well received and respected".
One source of savings comes from the material of the coils. The size of the machine determines the maximum spool width that can be produced, but there is no limit to the minimum width. This is in contrast to most standard machines which operate with fixed film and package widths.
"The waste film is a painful thing that people have become accustomed to. In contrast, we can use any size, any film width up to the maximum width for that particular machine."
The coils and drums are easy to remove and replace, so that retooling is possible and takes only a few minutes.
Riverside Medical offers a range of optional accessories; printers, light curtains, perforating stations and special blades, and much more. Heating takes place only in discrete steps - at 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock - and there is no need for cooling equipment to cool down the temperatures, because there is no film web to be pulled and held over the entire surface.
There are no gripper chains along the entire length of the thermoformer - a frequent source of maintenance for those operating conventional machines.
There is also no vacuum; the cavity heating and compressed air are sufficient for perfect forming of the bottom film.
With fewer parts, the machines also require less maintenance and less energy. The fact is that they operate with single-phase power instead of three-phase, as with conventional thermoformers.
The Shawpak is actively and aggressively marketed.
This summer Riverside Medical received its first order from the USA - the customer was extremely impressed and surprised by the perfect packaging.
People say, "Oh, it looks like one of those little toy machines".
A single machine cannot achieve the throughput of a conventional thermoformer, but they cost much less, which means that users are able to respond to current market needs and demands and invest in multiple machines at the same time.
A customer from Israel reports that a number of these packaging machines are already in operation and will be taken further - in each case as part of a personal robot cell.
"You can basically fit two or three of our machines into a large company's packaging room, the machines produce at lower cost and are extremely flexible and quickly converted, perfect for a fast-paced world".