All our machines are shipped on a pallet and crated, unless you pick it up. Upon receiving the machine, inspect carefully the crate making sure there are no signs of external damage. Remove the walls of the crate and dispose of all the packing material around the machine. Since the machine sits on a pallet use it to move the machine to its final location. You might want to leave on it, but it is better to remove the machine from the pallet.
On the top of the front cross member of the machine, by the heaters, there are 2 nuts with their fasteners to attach the fan that was shipped in a separate box. This box is usually shipped on the pallet in the front of the machine.
There are usually two points of connection, one for compressed air and the other for electrical power.
Before you connect the air make sure that you have removed all the split collars that were installed in the machine for shipping purposes.
Without air, for example, you may want to make sure that the heater carriage moves freely front to back.
To prevent any damage to the heaters, make sure that prior to supply air to the machines the heater carriage is all the way to the back away from the forming station.
In the far right corner of the machine, you will find a filter regulator. To this point, you bring your air supply. We recommend that you use a quick disconnect hose or place a shut off valve prior to the filter regulator. We usually ship the machines with the regulator pressure preset, 60-80 PSI.
Next step is to supply electrical power to the machine, if you open the main electrical enclosure, on the inside of the door you will find there a label with the model #, serial # and power required. On the top left corner of the enclosure, you will find a black power distribution block. That is the point where your qualified electrician has to bring power to the machine. We suggest you place a main disconnect close to the machine.
Once electrical power and compressed air have been supplied to the machine, you are ready to start testing it.
On the top side of the main electrical enclosure, there are three selector switches with their corresponding indicator lights besides them. They are labeled: power on, heaters on and pump on.
Turn the power on, the yellow indicator will light up.
IMPORTANT – First Pump Test
Locate the vacuum gauge of the machine. It is placed on top of the vacuum pump. Once you have identified the gauge turn for a few seconds the pump on. The needle in the gauge should be moving counterclockwise and show that the system is building up vacuum. If the needle does not move, but the pump is running that means that the pump is rotating in the wrong direction, turn the pump immediately off and have your qualified electrician reverse two of the phases of the main electrical supply. This situation will not occur if you purchase a single phase machine, but it is always recommended to check that the pump is going in the right direction.
Having checked the above we are ready to start placing the machine thru its paces.
On the operator interface console off the machine you will find a selector switch with 3 positions, hand-off-auto, place the selector on the hand position, the left green indicator should light up.
Press the open pushbutton located between the two close pushbuttons in the bottom of the operator interface and the clamp frame should open.
Press the two close pushbuttons at the same time and the clamping frame should close.
Press the start button and the heaters carriage should move to the front towards the forming station.
Press the stop button and the heaters carriage should retract.
Below the start and stop buttons there are two sets of green and red pushbuttons.
The set on your left controls the movement of the bottom platen. The set on your right controls the movement of the top platen. These controls are only operative when the selector switch on top is set at hand or off position
Press the green of the bottom platen once and the platen goes up.
Press it again and the vacuum is activated.
Press it once again and the fan will turn on.
Press the down button (keep it maintained) and the air eject will activate and once it times out, the platen will drop.
Top Platen Assist
Try this sequence a couple of times to get a feel of the machine.
The top platen assist works in a similar way
Press the green pushbutton and the top platen comes down
Press the red button and the platen retracts
There is no vacuum or fan function driven from the top platen.
If you place the 3 position selector switch on the middle, you should have no green indicator lights on.
This position is used when you want to set up your molds. If you press either the up or down buttons momentarily you can jog both platens up and down. This is very useful to set the tooling.
When you turn on the machine the touch screen on the operator console will come on.
On the square of the screen, where it says select recipe, press it and select your
That will take you to the second screen.
If you press on planning, it will take you to the next screen, heat on time. You can change the preset by touching the center box with the seconds preset. This controls the amount of time that the heating carriage will stay in the front position, heating the material both in hand or auto mode.
Settings and Functions
Forming time: The amount of time the bottom platen will stay in the up position.
Vacuum delay: This is the amount of time that the vacuum valve will wait prior to coming on. This time starts from the moment the heaters carriage has fully retracted. Once this happens there is a limit switch to the right of the heaters that signals that the heater carriage is at its home position.
Until the bottom platen is fully up, there is an interval of a couple of seconds. You do not want to turn on the vacuum in the air. You want it to happen when your mold is fully engaged with the material.
Vacuum time: This is the amount of time that the vacuum will stay on. You want to set it a couple of seconds less than the amount of time you have on the bottom timer.
Air eject: This function helps you break the vacuum and in many occasions get the formed parts out of the cavities of the mold. The setting will tell the valve for how long to stay on once the bottom timer has timed out. Once the air eject times out, the platen will drop. In the back of the material advance section of the machine, there is a pressure regulator that allows you to determine the pressure you want on the air eject valve, too much pressure will distort your formed parts.
Length of travel: We usually set it to 5 secs, and the platen will drop all the way to the bottom of the stroke of the cylinder. But if you are running very shallow molds you may not want to drop the platen all the way down. By setting less seconds the platen will drop a proportional distance.
Little you may want to use this function. If you set it at 6 sec, it means that the fan will part cool time. This is a delay that allows the machine to form the part and once you determined that the part is formed properly you turn the fan on to cool the part.
For example, if you set it at 10 secs, the platen will go up, the vacuum will engage and after 10 secs the fan will come on, it goes off automatically once form time times out.
Pulsating vacuum: When trying to vacuum form tall parts using a male mold may, at times, in the corner of the formed part of the material, create a crease at the base of the part. In order to avoid this situation, for many years vacuum formers have used a manual shut off valve to toggle the vacuum. In our machines we have implemented the same function in an automatic form using 3 settings in our touch screen:
- Number of pulses: this tells how many times the vacuum valve will pulse.
- Length of pulse: this command how long each pulse
- Time between pulses: the amount of time between each pulse
Example if the settings are 3 pulses, length of pulse 1 sec, and time between pulses 1 sec. The vacuum valve will be activated for 1 sec 3 times waiting between pulses 1 sec, and the then vacuum stays open for the duration set in the vacuum length timer of the touchscreen.
Heater Settings and Functions
For example, if you have a 24×24 machine, the screen will show 4 boxes. If you have a 24×36 the screen will show 6 boxes. The number of boxes tells you how many zones you have, the look of the screen
To activate in manual (hand mode) the advance of the material, you press forward once and the bar holding the material down in the advance carriage comes down.
Press down a second time and the carriage advances forward.
Press third time and the knife traverses cutting the material.
Press the reverse pushbutton once and the hold down bar goes up.
Press a second time and the carriage reverses ready to pick up another length of material.
In Auto Mode…
To have this function be part of the automatic and continuous operation you need to turn on the selector switch located between the forward and reverse buttons.
In automatic this is controlled by the following settings on the touch screen.
Forward timer: sets in seconds the how long it will travel pulling material.
Length of cut: This setting allows the knife to travel across the web.
Carriage return: The length of time that the carriage will travel back towards the forming station.
In the automatic mode if you do not have the carriage activation selector the machine will run a single part as it was a cut sheet forming machine.
If the selector is activated the machine will run continuously until you press the stop bottom. When you press it, the machine will finish the cycle and then will stop.
In order to assist in the setting of the amount of material to advance in each shot we have included two hard stops, set both at the desired positions front and back of the carriage advancing pneumatic cylinder.
Top Platen Settings and Functions
Top Platen delay: The length of time the top platen will wait before activating.
Top platen timer: The length of time the top platen will be down.
The total time of the top platen should be less that the total forming time of the bottom platen.
Overall reset, leave as set from factory.
To understand the modus operandi of the machine, we suggest that once you have air and power run it both in manual and automatic with the settings that the machine was sent from the factory.
The Most Important is the F
Every time you change a preset or a group of presets, press exit. That will take you to the second screen, then press save recipe and then use recipe. This way we make sure that the new presets have been loaded into the memory of the PLC.