In the past, the plastics industry used three-axis, gantry robots in their demolding and pick and place applications. Now, plastics facilities use six-axis robots for the same processes because of the industry’s more complex operations.
According to an article from Plastics Technology, the reason for the change from three to six-axis robots in plastics had to do with the growing demand for robots that could better orient the part, as well as complete the pick and place application. Six-axis robots had the degrees of freedom to fit the bill.
Some of the work pieces had to be turned by the plastics six-axis robots while in the mold to make the ejection process easier. As with many other industries, the plastics industry also faces smaller and smaller runs of products, needing to alter products often to keep up with competition in the market. When it comes to quick re-tasking, the plastics industry knew that six-axis robots would once again suit their needs because of their programmability.
By switching to the six-axis robots, the plastics industry has been able to save money on labor and production costs, while also saving money in the operations area. With the integration of these robots, manufacturers are able to use fewer fixtures because of the improved manipulation in the six-axis robots.
Overall, the plastics industry has improved their productivity while lowering their costs since the switch to six-axis robots, as well as enhancing their products.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator for six-axis robots for the plastics industry, as well as others, has several six-axis robots available for customization and purchase. These robots can perform dozens of applications, including multiple welding, material handling and material removal processes.