The use of robots in the plastics industry is becoming more frequent, as it offers several advantages for production, especially regarding productivity and quality of the final product.
With high performance and flexibility, plastic injection robotization has become more than frequent nowadays. These are some of the processes we can automate: complex part production with injected metallic and inprint moulding, graphic applications during the process of injection. Handled with precision components placed on an injector. Removing machinery parts, assembly of components, quality control, grouping, and packaging.
In 2011, ESI developed a technically complex solution for the company LNMoldes (currently GLN Plas). The challenge was the orderly placement of 28 metallic inserts in a mold at each injection cycle (70s). The mold had two cavities, in each one 14 inserts with 3 different types of parts (6 + 6 + 2) would have to be placed. To complicate the process, the customer did not have available space on the periphery of the machine. We studied the processes and developed a specific draft for the needs presented. To solve the space problem, we proposed the construction of a dedicated height structure (2nd floor).
The solution was divided into 4 distinct phases: Preparation, division, organization and insertion of metallic parts; Distribution and organization of parts with the correct distances between them (inserts in the final part); Pick and Place of 14 pieces simultaneously – Placing inserts in the mold; Quality control.
In 2013, ESI was approached by Polisport, with the aim of developing a solution for placing skins in injection molds using IPD – inmold plastic decals, a patented technology exclusive to Polisport. It was a new challenge at the time, which ESI promptly embraced. After studying the processes, they developed a system for storing/dispensing the films and a specific vacuum tool to manipulate them. They integrated a Kuka KR16 R1420 robot, connected to a Billion injection machine with the Euromap 67. Six years passed and 6 robots were installed by ESI at Polinter (Polisport Group), performing precision operations with high technical demands.
At the end of 2017, ESI started a relationship with the ITP plastics manufacturing industry, which owns the Kozzi brand. They installed an anthropomorphic robot working directly with the injection machine, where the IML – Imprint molding concept was applied. This made it possible to provide the pieces with precise graphic images. The Robot was also profitable in the cutting of gites and application of labels.
With the application of anthropomorphic robots, processes to produce complex parts are enhanced, with metallic inserts and imprint molding, the application of graphics during the injection process. Components are manipulated with precision and inserted into the injection molding machine. The parts are removed from the machine, the segments are cut and separated, the components are assembled, quality control, grouping and/or packaging are carried out.