It is no surprise that industrial robots are conquering injection molding. This is because injection molding requires heavy automation. Robots give the traits needed to accomplish the degree of automation in molding.
You are about to learn why and how robots achieve automation. Before you consider the role of robots in injection molding, let’s define injection molding and see how it works.
What Injection Molding?
Injection Molding (sometimes referred to as moulding) is the process of shaping plastic or rubber my converting into a mold through heating.
The products of molding are bottle caps, storage containers, chairs, pocket combs, packaging materials, musical instruments, automotive parts, toys, gears and other plastic or mechanical parts.
How Does Injection Molding Occur?
First, you need to gather the apparatus. These include injection molding machine and the raw materials. In most cases, the raw material is a raw plastic material and a mold.
Secondly, melt the plastic through the injection molding machine. Thirdly, melt the mold. After melting, allow the mold to cool and solidify.
The solid part ends the injection molding process, and it is the finished product. And here is the most exciting part:
Why Do You Need Robots in Injection Molding?
From the process of injection molding process above, you can deduce the following. The process entails tedious processes of loading and unloading.
Besides, the injection molding environment is risky for a human workplace. Lastly, you require a high degree of accuracy in the execution and monitoring of the process. Consequently, you require machines to handle the process.
This simplifies the work but not efficient. Human involved in manual control of the machines may still be prone to accidents and are less accurate in task executions. This is why you need injection molding robots.
The robots induce speed, accuracy while handling tedious or repetitive work. For example, the robots pick and decorate the molds. They load, inspect and monitor stacking.
Let’s overview examples of the robots and where to use them. You require Top Entry robots. These robots handle horizontal molding machines. They have high speeds needed in picking, in-mold decorations, inspection and stacking.
Additionally, the robots load the machines. Another class of robots you need in injection molding are collaborative robots. These robots are friendly and can work together with human beings.
In injection molding, collaborative robots fill employee shortages by taking human supervision roles. Comparatively, these robots are better suited to injection molding because they work 24/7, reducing industrial idleness, wastage as well as improving production runtime.
Other typical types of robots are 4-Axis SCLARA. These robots boost flexibility due to their adaption to circular motion. They are, therefore, used in loading and unloading vertical molding machines.
Most importantly, they supplement Top-entry (also known as 3-Axis) robots and 6-Axis robots.
What Are the Typical Features of Injection Molding Robotics?
There should be robots that can handle a variety of machines. There are two fundamental classes of molding machines. These include vertical and horizontal injection machines.
Besides, robots should accommodate varying strokes and payloads. For example, most robotics have robots with a vertical stroke of 10000mm and horizontal strokes of 3000mm. Again, the robots have payloads ranging between 6.5 and 275lbs.
Application of robots in injection molding accelerates return on investment. Consequently, firms that automate their molding processes boost their growth.
This is why most of these firms can comfortably serve a global market. They achieve this admired business characteristic by involving robots with tedious, repetitive, and boring tasks. Then, human employees focus on creative missions of the firms.
Do you want to propel your ROI (return on investment) of injection molding? Here’s the shortcut:
Automate injection molding process. This empowers you to improve loading and unloading, mold decorations, picking, inspection and stacking.
Consequently, you will improve workplace security, reduce operational costs, improve production runtime. Most importantly, you can achieve an ROI between 3 and 8 months.