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Automation trend in the plastic processing
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[China, Shanghai Published:2013-01-11]

Automation has become a large number of processing factories profits are necessary in plastics processing. It is not limited to the high value-added parts production or small specific molding applications. The level of automation can be as simple as gate collector removal channel, or advanced to assembly or packaging plastic parts of the complete unit of work. Because the product variety, processing requirements are different, so the most automatic focus on injection molding application. But the technology is also applicable to other processes.

Design of manipulator has made significant progress in the drive technology and structure of the material, so that the whole automatic loop optimization.
Today's development and progress is the application of manipulator and the automation and integration. A as a part of the whole work, and simplify procedures and training.

Although the application of injection molding machine manipulator type automation more and more, but the sale ratio of manipulator and the sale of injection molding machines have obvious difference in various regions ( Table 1 ).

Injection molding machine manipulator percentage
America 6900196028%
Europe 20000761838%
Asia 19500921247%
The 260033013% South American
Africa / Middle East 100012012%

Molding manufacturers increasingly pay more attention to the manipulator and automation, thought they had experienced productivity and quality gains, and the corresponding investment. By 2010, the ratio of America manipulator sales volume and the injection molding machine sales are expected to increase to 40%. Because the manipulator to complete other functions in the expansion, so the application is still the increase of them. To work more requirements as far as possible the use of mechanical hand, in order to reduce the artificial, for labeling and inspection etc..

And the most simple automation manipulator is gate. But today most injection function from a more flexible manipulator and automatic work unit to get more return. Basically making unload and conveyor belts are placed cycle time outside of the mechanical hand can use for other subsequent operation time. From the robot 's entire service life important flexibility, various steps involved in the new project instructions. In most cases, with electric CNC or 3 - 6D servo linear drive the manipulator, so that they can quickly import and die. They are better than type manipulator operation for forming similar painting and assembly of the ideal, but only for this.

Embedded automation parts handling aspect has attract sb.'s attention to the development of. Like a nut, screw, applique, foil, pin, sensors, thin film, clip and a fastener these objects placed in the injection molding machine, as an insert over-molded, this is the most common and is almost a standard. Through the reciprocating table will insert into the mechanical hand, or by hand or vibration hopper loading. In most cases, automation of the work unit is the only economic or competitive solutions. Similar, multiple parts molding usually by using the manipulator to convey overlapping molding base, rather than the use of rotary die. The gate is the automation of a standard for edge mouth parts, and benefit from the recent progress of manipulator. With the ground or beam the gate station using mechanical later placed injections, and the pneumatic claw remove gate. If the manipulator manufacturers mold gate design, we can get good mark deviation. Recent advances in linear manipulator technology fusion joint wrist action. For example, these linear elbow manipulator can now operate a part as a unique location, and provides the workpiece edge gate to capture system servo control. Servo axis motion capture arms can reach many cutting surface, and good cutting. This new method can realize the programmable method is simple. Just as other plastic parts in addition to improve the flexibility of the gate, and the installation, hard design and fixing device to save the effect to get instant results.

If possible, we should plan the work unit in the mold design stage. In fact, if molding just after completing the design of part and mold before considering the automation work cell planning, then they may encounter other costs and risks, may run time and reliability will be a negative role. To avoid potential problems and make automation application engineer asked parts will get the gate or placed as simple as that, and then die design to simplify the automation work cell. Moreover, the controller of the injection machine, camera, weighing scales, material analysis quality control feedback, forming can improve product quality, and by careful planning work to reduce manual.

The use of automation equipment of the time will be longer than the molding applications, so it should be as far as possible to provide greater flexibility for future goals. To ensure the effective load manipulator is important, it is not only meet the current needs, but it will be able to cope with future use. The majority of manipulator suppliers chart operation interface attractive, in order to simplify the procedure and operation. This allows the operator to a minimum amount of training to take simple movements. The main difference between the manipulator controller is to determine which will allow subsequent auxiliary input / output, and the user will be how to easily for the subsequent procedure of equipment integrated unique. When choosing the automation suppliers have the point is also important, they can actually fusion minor things, program security and unique step. Automation suppliers to provide integrated product experience and ability, for the unit of work and future uncertain success operation and operation needs is crucial.

Usually a company make a significant investment in fixed equipment, but can not ensure adequate training to make maximum performance. Many automation suppliers to provide specialized training and maintenance contracts, to further improve the return on investment. Simple program changes often lead to cycle shortened and waste reduction, and the running time is longer and larger output generated huge net income.

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