Robotics in plastic processing is the natural progression of technology. It has ushered in a plethora of possibilities that have improved and supported the industry dramatically.
Motivation for implementing robotics and downstream automation has primarily been to increase productivity, reduce cycle times, increase part quality and facilitate the assembly of small harder-to-handle components.
Most robots are designed to be helping hands and/or high-tech tools. Using robotics to complete as many tasks as possible generates more time and resources for other required hands-on processes.
Robots are programmed to carry out specific repetitive actions without variation. It is done with extremely high degrees of accuracy. These actions are determined by programmed routines that specify the direction, acceleration, velocity, deceleration and distances.
Industrial robots often use precise guidance and have the ability to adapt to different part-types using intelligence-based features. These features include; vision, integrated force and sensing capability. Because of this, robotics enables manufacturers to achieve specific levels of flexibility, multitasking and automation of a variety of functions for lower-volume applications.
Types of Robotics Used
Entry level sprue pickers are used to separate runners from parts to complete an automated, flexible manufacturing cell.
Robotics can be used throughout the injection molding process. For example, during the insert molding or over-molding process by placing inserts or metal components into a molding machine during the molding process. They can remove a molded part or substrate from an injection molding machine and place it into another injection molding machine for the over molding process.
Robots are also used for secondary operations in the injection molding process. Some examples of these include part-trimming, degating, drilling, assembly, sorting and packaging.
It is essential to have the ability to measure quality-specifications using fully programmable, automated, CNC-driven quality inspection and measuring equipment. This makes it possible to verify critical dimensions on first article inspections, samples and production runs.
Using robotics is a necessary part of current injection molding techniques. Through continued development and application of automated processes and robotics, your plastic injection molder can deliver consistent results with greater speed, precision, and flexibility.
Automation has been a worthwhile investment at Crescent Industries through incorporation of multi-functional robots and automated work cells to deliver consistent quality plastic components.