At the K 2013 Preview, Sepro Robotique leaders kept reinforcing the idea of “free choice.”
“What will you see on the Sepro stand? More choice at K 2013,” said Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro. “We’re now in Hall 12 because we needed more space. It’s our biggest investment ever.”
The French supplier of robots and automation systems for injection molding will display a total of 23 robots at its own stand and in the booths of six partner companies. The company said much of the new technology has not been seen before. Here’s a preview of it:
5X line and 6X visual together in an automation cell
Two 6-axis articulated-arm units will be shown operating together with three 5-axis Cartesian-style robots in what the company called “an entertaining automation ballet.”
Developed by Sepro Robotique in partnership with Stäubli Robotics, these two robot families are aimed at injection molding applications requiring complex part manipulation. The 5-axis 5X line is based on high-precision Sepro 3-axis Cartesian beam robots and a 2-axis Stäubli servo wrist. The two additional compact servo rotations make it easy to adapt to challenging applications like insert placing, complex extraction paths in the mold, path tracking for flame treatment, and the like.
The 6X visual line of robots combines a Stäubli 6-axis articulated-arm robot with easy-to-use Sepro visual 3 control to deliver an automation solution specifically for injection molding. Five models are available to serve injection molding machines from 20 to 4000 tons.
Multi-material molding & in-mold decoration with multi-inject 20 on Sumitomo (SHI) Demag press
The vertical injection unit on a bi-material injection-molding machine might normally interfere with the movement of a standard beam robot, but Sepro said its multi-Inject 20 robot, which is being shown for the first time at K 2013, is different.
This specially designed unit will be operating on a 210-ton Sumitomo Demag machine with a two-position rotating mold for making ice scrapers with soft-touch gripping surfaces. In operation, the robot picks a decorative label from a feeder and places it on the molded scraper body before the gripping material is overmolded. Then it removes the finished product to a conveyor as the cycle repeats.
S5-15 axial robot demonstrates insert-molding on 60-ton Arburg
A 60-ton Arburg injection molding machine will be operating with an S5-15 robot, the smallest model in Sepro’s line of high-performance 3-axis servo-driven units for applications requiring multi-axis, multi-function parts manipulation.
The robot will be presented in an axial configuration so that the horizontal beam runs parallel to the injection unit. This cell will produce a toy car with wheels that move on metal axles. A cycle begins as the robot picks metal axles from a feeder and places them in the tool. The wheels are molded on the axles as the body of the car is molded in another cavity.
After molding, the robot removes all components from the mold and places inserts for the next cycle before moving the finished parts outside the molding area. Wheels and axles are placed in a fixture at the end of the molding machine and the body of the car is press-fit onto them. Finally the finished car is placed on a conveyor and the cycle repeats.
Other elements on the Sepro stand will include a demonstration of the Success Range of all-servo general purpose robots. Built using S-Platform technology that was perfected on the high-performance S5 Line, Sepro touts that its Success robots “are faster and able to handle bigger, heavier parts than many similar robots. Thus, they become truly affordable robots with enhanced capabilities, with all of the quality and reliability for which Sepro is well-known.”
Sepro's Touch 2 and Visual 2 and Visual 3 control systems will be available to visitors so they can see for themselves how easy they are to program. Using the same user interface as other Sepro controls, the Visual 3 platform extends simplicity of programming to the Sepro 6X Visual line of 6-axis robots. Part of the presentation will be a special demonstration of new technology that makes programming 6-axis robots easier than ever.
The S3 all-servo sprue picker, first introduced at Fakuma 2012, will also be shown.
Sepro is on track to nearly double its sales of robots compared to 2010 when the last K Show was held. By the end of 2013, Sepro expects to sell more than 1500 units.