Sponsored By

January 1, 2000

2 Min Read
Robot Automates Vertical Injection Molding Processes

Robot Automates Vertical Injection Molding Processes

pn24-100.jpgInjectech Engineering LLC, a new company, is pursuing the relatively vacant niche of integrating the automatic insert loading and removal of parts molded on vertical presses. Also integrated are secondary operations such as quality control inspection and gate removal.

"It is a well known fact that vertical molding machines equipped with either a shuttle or rotary table are ideal for producing insert-loaded parts like automotive connectors, gears with shafts, bulb assembly bases and so on," says Ken Heyse, founder of Injectech. "While this molding process has gone on for years, it is usually performed with the aid of a human operator. There has not been a concerted effort made to automate the insert loading process."

Heyse has significant experience in the automation area. He is the founder and former owner of P.A.E. (end-of-arm tooling) and ex-Vice President & General Manager for the AEC and Sterling robot businesses. Injectech Engineering LLC (formerly known as the Injectech division of JMG Associates Ltd.) is the company that originally introduced Demag injection molding machines and Wittmann robots to the U.S. market before they were sold back to their parent companies. Heyse purchased the business from JMG Associates' founder, John M. Grigor, in August of last year.

Injectech is using the latest generation of SCARA robots from Intelligent Actuator and making them 'plastics-friendly.' The company has developed an operator interface, pneumatic valve package, end-of-arm tooling and a press interface, which makes the general-purpose industrial robot ideal for use on a vertical injection molding machine.

Heyse says there are no current standards or SPI protocols for interfacing vertical injection molding machines with robots. He is working to develop some.

Seitz Corp., a custom molder located in Torrington, CT, is using an Injectech robot on a gear shaft application (see photo). The shaft is bowl-fed to the robot and placed in the mold, where its presence is sensed via a vision system. The shuttle table then takes the loaded base and moves it under the nozzle and shoots the part while the robot unloads the finished part from the other side.

The benefits of automating the process, according to Heyse, are increased productivity due to the speed of the system, higher parts quality due to consistent loading and cycling and obvious labor savings, as the job runs unattended.

A turnkey automation system from Injectech runs between $60,000 and $90,000 depending on the complexity of the system. System includes the robot, a vision system, all interfaces and guarding.

Injectech Engineering LLC
Torrington, CT

Sign up for the PlasticsToday NewsFeed newsletter.

You May Also Like