ATTLEBORO, Mass., February 27, 2018 – CMT Materials, the leading provider of plug-assist materials for the thermoforming industry, will showcase its range of HYTAC® syntactic foams at the upcoming NPE2018 May 7-11 at the Orlando County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. (Booth #W9121). CMT Material’s plug-assist materials will be featured at the booths of several leading thermoforming machine manufacturers including Germany-based Illig, Kiefel, and Gabler; Switzerland-based WM Thermoforming Machines and Italy-based OMG; along with U.S.-based Sencorp, Brown Machine Group, and Irwin Research & Development.
HYTAC plug assists will be featured at Illig (Booth #W3353) where a RKDP 72 thermoformer will run a 6-up tool for PET tray production at 42 cpm and at Kiefel (Booth #W2727) during a demonstration of PP K-cup production on a KTR-6 thermoformer with new tooling from Bosch-Sprang featuring HYTAC XTL plugs. Gabler (Booth #W7763) will demonstrate its M-100 tilt-mold thermoformer with 90-up tool from Marbach with HYTAC B1X plugs. Sencorp (Booth #W591) will display its latest 2500 thermoformer with a 9-up tool with HYTAC FLXT plugs, producing PET food service trays. W-M (Booth #S34067) will showcase its FC 780 IM thermoformer with a 6-up tool by Kiefer using HYTAC FLX plugs to produce tamper-evident PET clamshells while OMG (Booth #S34034) will run a 6-up CPLA tool also with HYTAC FLX plugs. GN (Booth #W1283), in cooperation with toolmaker Gravolab (Booth #S31108), will produce PET/PE laminate meat trays on a 12-up tool with HYTAC XTL plugs on the new GN800 inline thermoformer.
“We continue to enjoy strong growth for copolymer and thermoplastic plug materials as the global plastics packaging market continues to evolve and grow throughout the world,” said Conor Carlin, Sales and Marketing Manager for CMT Materials.
Data-driven studies on the economic impact of plug material selection show that consistency and repeatability can be achieved in thermoforming, according to CMT. In particular, HYTAC plug assists play a key role by helping processors manage wall thickness variation, reduce starting gauge, and improve cycle times.
Carlin noted that the increased growth is largely focused in food packaging applications in Europe and Asia, with material shifts away from PS to PP and new multilayer films. “These more complex polymers require more sophisticated plug assists beyond our basic epoxy-structured materials,” he said. The main driving trends are growing popularity in ready-to-eat meals, changing consumer habits, and growing disposable income in emerging Asian economies. North American processors also show continued growth in sectors such as large bakery items, tamper-evident clamshells, and medical device packages. “The pace of product and package design is speeding up, with custom formers moving from prototype to production sometimes in less than four weeks,” said Carlin.
In January, CMT announced the opening of CMT East Asia Co., a new facility in the city of Shenzhen, China. The new location includes a full inventory of HYTAC plug assist materials,sales and customer service personnel, and cut-to-size services. CMT East Asia provides same-day shipping to China, Taiwan, and several Southeast Asia countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, reducing lead times and shipping costs.
In the last 18 months, CMT has also expanded production capabilities by 30% at its Attleboro, Mass. headquarters to keep pace with global demand for HYTAC syntactic foam.
HYTAC syntactic foam is used by the majority of toolmakers and thermoforming processors around the world. Thin-gauge thermoformed parts such as drinking cups, coffee capsules, fruit trays, barrier trays, horticultural parts, and many more are formed with plug-assisted pre-stretching. HYTAC plugs are designed with specific material properties to optimize plastic parts and provide low thermal conductivity, low specific heat, and low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE). CMT offers a full range of materials allowing designers and operators to create high-quality plugs for a variety of polymers and their required geometries.