Multivac said it would introduce the new thermoform machines at the start of next year. The machines have been designed to make internal and external components more visible and accessible. The first model of the new line, the R535, will be available as of the new year, and the successive models in the following months. The machines are designed with angled surfaces to allow liquids to drain. There are no dead spaces or inaccessible niches, the company claimed. "This principle is evident throughout the complete design of the machine - and continues within its interior workspace, with cables and hoses as well as with motors and pumps," Multivac claimed. "Even in critical areas, like the chain and the chain guide, contaminants can be easily removed withoutdisassembling the chain." Multivac has also developed what it claims is a new "clean-in-place" (CIP) technology. The CIP system automates the chemical cleaning of chain, chain guide and internal machinery by using a system of jets and pipes. After a pre-cleaning, operators can start the cleaning programme with the push of a control button. While cleaning the outside must be done manually, the process can also be integrated into the CIP procedure and is process controlled. "This precisely reproducible hygiene offers the highest standard of protection for the consumer, with clearly reduced work and expense," Multivac claimed. The machine can process cut-off lengths of 1,300 mm and 250 vacuum or modified atmosphere packages per minute. A new "drawer" design allows operators to change formats without disassembling the hot upper part of the tool. The frame profiles can be clapped open, allowing access to the complete internal space for maintenance and service work. Other design changes include modifications to the chaining and to the modular lifting unit. All machines are equipped with a new control panel. Software collects production data, allowing operators to analyse reasons for stoppages. Network connections allow operators to exchange the aquired data between the components of a packaging machine and a central data base. "Numerous constructive developments and new functions enable a further increase of machine performance ergonomics and economy," Multivac claimed.