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Processing sensitive materials and worried about your EOAT damaging the parts? Need to box parts from a molding machine into a moving box or container? Two new tools offered by this manufacturer help with both scenarios.

PlasticsToday Staff

November 2, 2009

2 Min Read
Wittmann robots learn new tricks

Processing sensitive materials and worried about your EOAT damaging the parts? Need to box parts from a molding machine into a moving box or container? Two new tools offered by this manufacturer help with both scenarios.

Wittmann (Vienna, Austria) introduced both at last month’s Fakuma tradeshow in southern Germany. At that same event, the company's Wittmann Battenfeld molding machine manufacturing business also introduced its new EcoPower all-electric machine, as reported here earlier. Battenfeld was among the first to make electric presses but had halted production of these before Wittmann acquired it in early 2008. The new range is available now to 180 tonnes of clamp force, said Georg Tinschert, managing director at the Kottingbrun, Austria-based Wittmann Battenfeld, and will be expanded to cover 55-300 tonnes.

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PartTrack: the robot is synchronized with the conveyor, opening the door to numerous logistics synergies.

The company also chose the Fakuma show to introduce a number of new auxiliary equipment and robot/automation developments. Elegantly simple was the PartTrack robot option, which synchronizes the robot’s movement with that of a conveyor. As a result, the robot end-of-arm tool (EOAT) can move along a conveyor with a part it has removed from a press so that, for instance, the part can be bored or otherwise worked on, and then again carried to another station for packaging or more secondary work. Stacking of parts in containers moving along a conveyor would be another job for this robot.

Another option, called SoftTorque, is more complicated but, in short, lets ejector pins release parts that are "caught" by the EOAT. The robot tooling can compensate for varying ejector strokes and velocities.  Sensitive molded parts won’t be marked or scratched, and mechanical components will last longer.
 
In a press conference at the tradeshow, Michael Wittmann, president, said his company is expecting a circa 20% improvement next year in business compared to 2009, when the company’s sales dropped about 40% from 2008 levels, inline with the reduction seen at most plastics machinery manufacturers. The slowdown has not stopped the company’s expansion, with it opening a new office in Romania last May and its new sales/service center in Germany in September. —[email protected]

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