Robotics in Injection Moulding –
Robots can be seen everywhere. The world is slowly becoming a robot and automation-driven society. Robots are manufacturing our cars, making our houses, flipping the burgers we eat, and whatnot. It is very evident that the roles played by robots in our livelihoods are going to be much more important in the future.
However, how robots are changing the injection molding industry? That’s the question that needs to be answered.
Robotics is used immensely in injection molding machines. The entire process is sometimes automated; from assembling the mold to ejecting the final product, industrial robots can substantially minimize the entire process.
The inclusion of industrial robotics in injection molding or any plastic manufacturing procedure improves productivity, manufactures accurate products with complicated design and structure, and automates workloads.
Let’s have a look at some applications of industrial robotics in Injection molding.
#1 Injection Molding:
As we know very well, Injection molding is a method used for the mass production of plastic parts. It makes the task simpler, more efficient, accurate and has a meager failure rate.
Robots can help in mass production as the more repetitive tasks can be carried out by them with near-perfect accuracy and efficiency.
The most common application is in machine tending. Machine tending means loading and unloading of machines with material or parts. It is a highly labor-intensive work that can be very repetitive. Fewer injuries among manual employees is another benefit of using robotics.
#2 Mold labeling:
Mold labeling s a process used for creating markings on the mold during the injection molding cycle. Here, robots are involved in the pre-printing or enriching film directly into the gap of the mold.
Labels are a key extract of the end product. They are fused with the mold to get better results in the end. Combining the mold labeling process with robotics can reduce expenses drastically but can be very time-consuming.
#3 Insert Molding:
Insert molding also heavily relies on robots. Insert molding mandates compressing an insert into molded plastic. Mostly the inserts are metal objects like a blade, pin, threaded rod, etc.
Six-axis robots are mostly used for insert molding. Inserts can be fused either during the injection time or after that. It can manufacture products like consumer products, automobiles, electrical goods, mechanical goods, etc.
Apart from reducing labor and fabrication costs, insert molding can also reduce the size of the fragment.
#4 Over Molding:
Over molding is when the manufacturing of parts is done through the standard injection molding method with an aluminum mold without hearing and cooling channels running through it. The method can use robots to accurate and quick results.
A robot will lift a mold from one machine and put it into another for the manufacturing process. Automation can be useful in reducing costs and improving the reliability, grade, and strengthening of the product.
Recycling is a very crucial, beneficial, and underutilized aspect of plastic processing. Robots can be used to efficiently crush and recycle fragments or a scrap of plastic material.
Recycling can cut costs for resin expenses and is environmentally friendly. Resued material is still somewhat misconceived and, hence underused.
Traditional Injection moulding vs. Robotic Injection moulding –
In the traditional injection molding method, the plastic material is manually transported into an injection molding machine where it’s heated. When it becomes liquid, it’s pushed through a nozzle into a mold where pressure is applied for some time till the made product is solidified and prepared to remove.
The end product is removed by a manual operator and is placed on a conveyer belt. The same process is repeated countless times, depending on the amount of production is carried out.
These repetitive and monotonous processes are mostly carried out by human operators who tend to get tired and lethargic after a certain time.
However, when it comes to automation, The same monotonous task will be carried out by robots numerous times with full accuracy and productivity. At the same time, human employees can focus more on complicated and analytical tasks.
The transition from humans to robots can be revolutionary for any business for manufacturing and post-manufacturing operations. It will reduce dependence on manual employees and also keep the quality in check.
Advantages of Robotics Injection molding –
- Cost efficiency of molding, labor, and finished product.
- A great level of accuracy and productivity can be achieved.
- Cycle times are consistent and flexible.
- Unlike human labor, Automation doesn’t get tired.
- It can be easily applied for mass production.
- The amount of waste production decreases significantly as robots don’t produce waste. That will help reduce waste disposal costs and will also be beneficial for the environment.
Disadvantages of Robotic Injection Molding –
- Automated injection molding is suitable for large repeatable processes. For projects with limited scope and scale, traditional injection molding will prove as a better option.
- Setting up robotics machinery is beneficial in the long run, but initial costing is quite expensive, which might discourage many manufacturers.
- Decision-making capacity at any point in time will be minimal as robots do not have analytical skills like their human counterparts.
Final Thoughts –
In the above post, I tried my best to share my knowledge about robotics in injection moulding in as much detail as possible. Kindly leave your thoughts about the article in the comment box.