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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Robotics in Injection Molding


It is a well-known statistic that applying robots in any industry results in saving on labour expenses, andthis translates to these robots guaranteeing an excellent return on investment. As contrasting as they may appear, the human arm and the robotic arm are very similar and share common characteristics. They have the same underlying configuration of linkages and joints.

Today’s world has seen Universal robots used in plastic fabrication, which includes injection molding related processes. The resemblance to the human arm allows injection molding robots to circumvent any task that is presented to them.


The utilization of robotics provides fabricators with a competitive advantage, which enables an increase in productivity and quality of the product as well. A balance between cost, speed, and accuracy has to be achieved, and this leads us to a discussion on the features to look out for when selecting injection molding robots for your business.

SelectingInjection Molding Robots: What to Look Out For

Maximum Speed for Your Application

It is very crucial to achieve the quickest cycle times so that you can fabricate more parts consistently. Usually, a robot manufacturer will make a budget speed robot, a high-speed robot, or an ultra-high-speed robot. The clients select robots based on their budgets and required cycle times.

With cycle times above 15 seconds, the client should select the budget speed robot. With cycle times of up to 12 seconds, the client should choose a high-speed robot, and with cycle times of below 12 seconds, the client should select an ultra-high-speed robot. Cycle time is also dependent on part depth, size of the mold, and the extraction method used.

Flexibility & Ease of Use

A proper robot should have a balance between flexibility and ease of use. The robot controller should be easy enough to be used by an intern or graduate. A technician should not always be called upon to teach the robot once a new mold comes into a facility.

Robust Construction for Maximum Payload

Many robot makers cut expenses by offering their clients robots with a lower maximum payload. This means the servo motors contained in the robot have lower capacity. In the future utilize a robot with end-of-arm tooling because they are over the limit in terms of payload.

Also, utilize robots that have pinion and rack mechanisms rather than belts. Belts used for robots contain rubber and iron, and like all rubber equipment, they stretch over time and need to be adjusted periodically. Rubber also regularly tears and requires replacements. The maintenance of rubber belts is also quite high as well.

Improvement in Quality of Parts

Minus a robot, most injection molders drop parts underneath the mold. This presents the likelihood of cosmetic defects and a chance for parts to amass contamination from dirt collection bins and grease bars. To avoid this mishap, molders select a top-quality robot to extract parts directly from the mold during ejection.

With the robot manufacturer present, ensure your robot can use part extraction confirmation via a vacuum pressure while using suction cups. When using the part confirmation feature, you will no longer fear damaging molds and shipping out defective parts. This is your insurance policy.

Long-Term Reliability &Low Maintenance Costs

When selecting a robot, you should ask for customer references who will tell you how long their oldest robot has been running for and the maintenance costs the robot demands. Well-built servo robots should render service for twenty plus years and have minimum maintenance costs of greasing drive components and linear guides.

At times they are significant differences in the quality of parts, and that is reflected in the price of the robot. This means the price should never be a decisive factor when determining the quality of an injection molding robot.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, injection molding robots are quite useful in industries. However, there’s several things that entrepreneurs to look out for when selecting the best injection molding robot to purchase, as we have seen above.

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