The Hindu | January 08, 2017 | Low-cost solution for packaging |
The machine will lower the cost of making plastic packaging moulds.
S.K.R. Engineering College has designed an innovative machine, as part of an incubation project.
S.K.R. Engineering College, Chennai, has designed a machine for making plastic packaging moulds for the packaging industry. The process is known as thermoforming, where a plastic sheet is heated to a temperature that makes it pliable and enables it to be moulded to a specific shape. Thermoforming is currently used extensively for packaging products attractively — from juice tumblers to blister cases for common home-use batteries. M. Senthil Kumar, professor of mechanical engineering and principal of the college, which is affiliated to Anna University, said the product was developed through funds received for a micro, small and medium enterprises incubation centre in the college.
According to him, the machines currently in use are typically large and consume as much as 5,000 watt. The machine designed as part of an incubation project is 46 per cent smaller in volume and consumes around 2,100 watt. “Our machine can be easily customised according to the shape and size of the product to be manufactured. We have made thermoformed pieces using our machine with a cycle time of 3.5 seconds,” he adds. The machine is priced at Rs. 1 lakh as against the existing products which cost around Rs. 8 lakh to 10 lakh, Mr. Senthil Kumar said. Since the cost of running the machine would be low, the product cost would also eventually fall. The machine requires just one person to operate it. It would be a boon for food packaging, toiletries, pharmaceuticals and electronics industries as these thermoformed products can prevent odour, moisture and gases from damaging the products that are packed, Mr. Senthil Kumar adds. – Courtesy