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ILLIG debuts RDF 85 RedLine thermoforming system at CHINAPLAS 2023

Source:Adsale Plastics Network 2023-04-26

ILLIG showcased the RDF 85 RedLine, a debut product at CHINAPLAS 2023, offering an attractive price/performance ratio without compromising quality and safety. During the live demonstration, Jürgen Lochner, CSO/CTO of ILLIG Maschinenbau GmbH & Co., said, “We have already sold more than 25 units in China and other regions of Asia.”


The RDF 85 RedLine boasts a number of impressive features, four of which stand out. First, the modular design allows the material unwinder to be configured either with or without a preheater. Second, different stacking systems can be integrated downstream from the forming and punching unit. Third, the adaptable and adjustable tool interface enables the use of tools from different suppliers. Finally, the RDF 85 RedLine has variable heating length. For customers, this means higher output performance and more flexibility of both machines and tools.


Set to benefit the thermoforming industry, the RDF 85 is used for the production of a variety of formed parts with the focus on the production of trays, hinged packaging, lids, trays and plant pots.


The RDF 85 RedLine, a debut product at CHINAPLAS 2023, boasts a number of impressive features.


“Customers will find that tools from old machines which are no longer available can be run on this machine, and different tool types can be used on one machine type,” Lochner explained. “The customer does not need a new machine even if the product changes in the future as the tool interface can be changed.” Moreover, the control supports the operators to get an optimized production with the pre-setting and less downtime of the machine, which means that less knowledge from the operator is needed.


According to Lochner, ILLIG China will act the role of customer solution center in China with professional service and technical consulting on customer maintenance, new product launching and production management. “We will reduce average cost of customer investment on the whole lifecycle of ILLIG machines by extending machine lifetime, improving machine efficiency and improving product quality,” he said. ILLIG China also will act more as a real solution provider with more solution packages including maintenance contracts and service level agreements.


Growth expected for the Asian market


Commenting on the market, Lochner said, “On a global level, following drastic cost increases during the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine that lead to difficulties in the supply chains, we have seen a decline in prices and falling demand since mid-2022. Inflation and high interest rates have also put restraint on the market. Nevertheless, we expect a recovery and growth in 2023 in Asia as the Asian market overcomes the challenges of Covid-19.”


Jürgen Lochner, CSO/CTO of ILLIG Maschinenbau GmbH & Co.


As for China, due to the inflation in many countries, cost increase also affected the Chinese market. “More customers are looking for diversity of product design, function and application to try to avoid the direct price competition,” he added. “As export to western countries especially to the U.S. becomes more difficult, investing in a subsidiary at a third country has become a choice for more Chinese companies. At the same time, the competition in Chinese market is also getting more intense.”


From a technology point of view, the trend in recent years is expected to continue into 2023, namely the demand for a high machine line output, maximum machine availability, and a growing demand for automation. While still varying from continent to continent, the demand for resource- and energy-saving production systems is becoming more relevant to support sustainability goals.


In response to these challenges, ILLIG is improving the efficiency of its packaging solutions in terms of material consumption and in terms of energy consumption and in reducing the carbon footprint per production unit. The latest generation of ILLIG machines has been designed for optimum energy consumption: energy-efficient heating systems, drive systems powered by servomotors, low air consumption, and energy-regenerating servomotor drives are among the many standards leading to optimal energy consumption and thus lower production costs.


The booth of ILLIG at CHINAPLAS 2023.


Sustainability leads the way in packaging


In Europe, sustainable packaging solutions and the use of recycled materials are bolstered and accelerated by legislation and consumer behavior. He noted that similar developments and trends can be seen in the Chinese market, although cost and performance considerations are still the biggest factors Asian customers.


Lochner notices that, to many ILLIG’s customers, reducing plastic, using bioplastics, and recycled plastics are the current focus of future-proof packaging development and production. Investment decisions, as well as purchasing decisions by end consumers at the point of sale, are currently made largely based on these criteria.


He continues to see strong momentum in the heterogeneous markets around the world, which are currently being impacted in many places by additional factors such as inflation and bottlenecks in the supply chains of raw materials. “At present, it is not possible for us to derive a clear, long-term trend in technology from this sustainability trend,” he said. “Because of this, we provide our customers with the best solutions in both plastic and hybrid packaging.”


In the area of non-food packaging, cardboard-based solutions have clearly established themselves in the long term for many applications and industries. The company’s new packaging concepts and machines like the HSU 650, which was launched in 2022, can satisfy all the demands of this market trend.

Rigid packaging
Thermoforming machine

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