GN 760 Plug-Assist Machine Reduces Material Waste and Cuts Cost for Thermoformed Packaging

CHESTER, NOVA SCOTIA, April 8, 2011 – Amid today’s rising cost of materials and the increased focus on sustainability, users of the recently introduced GN 760 plug-assist thermoformer from GN Thermoforming Equipment are able to significantly reduce material waste and realize a major cost savings for a wide range of packaging applications, the company reports.

The new cut-in-place machine, introduced last October at K 2010 in Dusseldorf, Germany, is reducing cost by 5% to 25% versus competitive form, cut, and stack systems, according to Jerome Romkey, GN marketing manager. “With the escalating price of resins today and the need to reduce environmental footprint, our new plug-assist thermoformer gives processors an important tool to improve their profitability,” said Romkey.

Material waste is significantly reduced because the GN cut-in-place system allows for a minimal gap between cavities unlike competitive machinery which requires at least 12 mm between cavities. For example, the 10-up meat tray that GN ran on their GN760 at the K show had a 7-mm (0.276-in) web between cavities providing a scrap rate of 15% per shot.

Currently, a European customer is manufacturing a new mold for the GN760 to further reduce the scrap rate by making common cut dies in the material direction, eliminating all web between products.

GN calculated the material waste for a range of competitive models and found that the GN760 offered a distinct advantage even when the speed of competitive machines was increased to 50 strokes/min.

The GN 760 also offers a 35% to 50% reduction in electrical consumption when compared to competitive equipment. The new model uses servo drives for plugging, material transport, stripping, and stacking. It also boasts a radiant infrared heating system with 60 zones and an electronic regeneration system which reduces energy use, resulting in a savings of approximately $9000/yr.

The new cut-in-place machine has a 762 mm x 533 mm (30 in x 21 in) forming area and incorporates many of the same components found in GN’s traditional machines. The new larger model expands GN’s line of plug-assist machines, meeting the demand for medium- to large-volume runs. 

A unique feature of the GN 760 is a plug drive system with twin-servo motors and a rotary-driven toggle. The drive is more compact, reducing the height of the machine and also delivers better control of the plug, according to Romkey. The simple-to-use GN 760 has a user-friendly control system and advanced diagnostics which permit easy troubleshooting. A split conveyor for transporting stacks allows the operator to empty the conveyor without disrupting the stack count.

The GN 760 handles sheet widths up to 812 mm (32 in). The machine can run sheet thicknesses ranging from 0.25 mm to 1.5 mm (0.010 in – 0.060-in). The competitively priced unit comes fully equipped and handles all thermoformable grades of PET, OPS, HIPS, PLA, PP, and PVC. The company is currently targeting food packaging applications but is also exploring medical and electronic packaging.

About GN Thermoforming Equipment

GN Thermoforming Equipment, based in Chester, Nova Scotia, Canada, is a leading manufacturer of roll-fed, in-mould cut thermoforming machines for the production of quality plastic packaging. The company’s advanced machinery combines the two critical steps of forming and cutting into one operation, a system which yields low material scrap rates. Very modest power consumption is among a long list of benefits for GN thermoformers which have earned the designation of Environmentally-Friendly Equipment with Low Carbon Footprint. More information on GN Thermoforming Equipment is available at