Molding is the process of manufacturing by shaping pliable raw material using a rigid pattern. Some of the most common types of molding performed by a robot include blow molding, compression molding, injection molding, plastic molding, and transfer molding.
Robotics are becoming increasingly popular in injection molding related processes, from loading components to finishing and assembling molded parts. Six-axis articulated robots are relied on to unload and process parts downstream from the molder, and can also perform secondary tasks like in-mold decorating, in-mold labeling, and automated insert loading.
Motoman’s robots are being used for insert loading work cells for trimming and deburring due to the limitations of simple manipulators for extraction of molded parts. Six-axis robots can do more in a footprint. Some of Motoman’s molding robots include the DA9IC NX100, the HP3 NX100, and the SDA20D DX100.
KUKA’s robots are being increasingly used for mold machine extraction applications. The part is removed from the injection molding machine, and then secondary applications like clip insertion, trimming, assembly, and packaging can also be completed, offering more flexibility. This allows end-users to accomplish more with a single investment. Some of KUKA’s molding robots include the KR 30, KR 150 L 110K.
FANUC has integrated in-mold labeling work cells, where the robot pulls down labels into the injection molding machine, becoming a permanent component of the part. Robots can also insert metal or plastic parts into a machine for the molding process. Some of FANUC’s molding robots include the F-200iA RJ3iB, the M-710iC/50T R30iA, and the R-2000iB/150U R30iA.
Robotic over-molding merges two materials to form one cohesive component. Robots are frequently used to over-mold automotive tail-light lenses, manufactured by injecting different color plastics into one machine.
Further, robotic molding work cells can also perform sonic and laser welding. The welder is placed on the end of a six-axis robot, which helps reduce cycle times, a crucial achievement in the molding industry.
RobotWorx is an authorized integrator of FANUC, KUKA, ABB, Universal Robots, and Motoman molding robots. We can offer these robots at a reduced price, new or used. Contact us today at 740-251-4312 for more information.