Common Cooling Plates vs. Platen Ready Tooling

by George (Brad) Braddon III, CEO

Compared to platen ready molds, using a standard buildup has some distinct advantages.   With a common cooling plate, your mold changeovers will be faster and your mold costs will be significantly reduced.  Another added benefit of a standard buildup is that it allows the same mold to be used in thermoformers with different platen configurations.  In the example shown below, our customer had some existing thermoformers and was purchasing a new thermoformer from Commodore.  He wanted to buy a family of meat tray molds and wanted to run them in both his old machines and his new machines.  We designed a buildup for each thermoformer that allowed for a common sheet line and mold mounting configuration.

In this case, our customer saved in excess of $100,000 and operationally saves time with every changeover.  This solution can add complexity up front, but saves time and money on every tool going forward.  The customer is not required to purchase cooling plates with each new mold, resulting in a smaller capital expenditure.   The setup team benefits in many ways, including handling less weight and not needing to change any plumbing on a mold changeover.

Mold in thermoformer machine
Mold sitting on a common mold base. We also refer to this as a "buildup".
thermoformer form station
Mold removed from the machine.

This is what it looks like with the mold removed. Notice that the cooling lines stay connected when making a mold change. The alignment pins protruding from the lower cooling plate make the positioning of the mold very fast and accurate.  Both of these features reduce the changeover time.

pallets of foam meat tray molds
Pallets of meat tray molds.

In this picture you can see there are three pallets of meat tray molds with two common cooling plate buildups. By utilizing these custom buildups, the molds can be shared between different thermoformer designs. 


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