The GN800 is its first model that offers movable top and bottom platens.
Moveable top and bottom platens provide the manufacturer with the ability to form products above and below the sheet line.
Until the release of the GN800 all GN thermoformers had limited ability to form above and below sheet line within the same thermoformer, said the firm.
The GN800 was developed with Agripak, based in Milan, Italy, which manufactured and sold form/cut/stack thermoforming machines until 2003.
Jerome Romkey, GN marketing manager, said it had a relationship with Agripak for around 15 years.
“Once they stopped producing their version of the form/cut/stack they represented GN in Italy which they still do today,” he said.
“We are targeting food packaging first as it is a large market that we are very familiar with. Growth is strong in the food packaging industry.”
Romkey added the unit was sold in May to a European company, which can’t be named at this time, with shipment from Canada planned for July.
The GN800 has a forming area of 800mm x 570mm (31.5-in x 22.4-in), is capable of forming 150mm above and below the sheet line, and the cutting force of the forming and cutting stations is 75 tons.
It has additional space between the forming and cutting stations, providing extra cooling time when running heavier gauge materials or PP.
Quick off the mark
GN found a growing use of form/cut/stack technology by packaging manufacturers based on a market analysis and decided a partnership offered the fastest entrance into the market.
Romkey said it saw changes in the marketplace and wanted to move swiftly to counter competition.
“Our strategy was to adapt and enhance Agripak’s proven technology to meet the requirements of today’s processors and gain a strong foothold in this highly attractive market,” he said.
“The market for plug assist products in general is growing and form/cut/stack has a huge share of this market. The growth comes from increased use of PET and PP materials which form better using the plug assist process.”
GN bought the rights to Agripak’s original machine design and added features and technologies to make it a “GN machine,” according to Romkey.
Enhancements to make sure the machine would meet changing market conditions came in response to input from customers and tool makers.
“One change to the thermoformer based on input from customers and toolmakers was to develop the machine with the least restrictions for installing competitors tooling in our new machine,” said Romkey.
The GN800 handles sheet widths up to 880 mm (34.6-in) and can run sheet thicknesses ranging from 0.25 mm (0.010-in) to 1.5 mm (0.060-in).
It can handle all thermoformable grades of PET, OPS, HIPS, PLA, PP, and PVC.