A Detailed View of Robotics in Injection Molding
What is the best robot for injection molding? With reference to injection molding robots there are three credible options and they are: collaborative robots- also known as cobots, industrial six axis robots- also known as articulated arm robots and Cartesian robots also called three axis, linear or gantry robots.
Researchers have proven that Cartesian robots are best suited for injection molding. They are specifically built for this procedure. With these robots being industry specific, all its terminology is structured around the injection molding module.
This is ideal when the manual operator switches focus from working on the injection molding controls to the robot controls. This also helps understanding Cartesian robots simple and intuitive. On the flip side articulated arm robots make up for a very negligible percentage of those used in injection molding procedures. The terminologies used in their controls has little or nothing to do with molding.
Why Cartesian robots are the all-round option for injection molding
Cartesian robots have proven invaluable to injection molding the following topics will help lend credence to my bias. They are:
The subject matter of terminology directs us into some pointers about robotic controllers. Robot manufacturers align control platforms around molding procedure. This has been a gateway for them to invent control languages and programs suited to injection molders.
For Cartesian robots terminology is structured around the injection molding module. This is ideal when the manual operator switches focus from working on the injection molding controls to the robot controls. This also helps understanding Cartesian robots simple and intuitive.
Cartesian robots have very clear descriptions of industry grade interfaces in between the injection machine and the robot. Be it SP1, E12, E67 or any other. Cartesian robots adopted in the injection molding industry. are set up for flexibility and ease of connection to a molding machine.
Articulated robots on the other hand may not deem it easy to connect to an injection press. There may arise extra expenses that will be required to enhance adaptation of six axis robots interfaces to the molding machine.
In the world of molding, it is all about decreasing your mold open time and hence decreasing overall cycle time. This an area in which Cartesian robots really outdo the rest. The speeds of Cartesian robots is well known to be surpass that of articulated arm robots and certain of dominating collaborative robots.
Faster in and out press means more fragments are produced per hour, shift or day as compared to the other two. This equates to a much quicker return on investment from Cartesian robots. Cartesian robots also have features specifically designed to reduce parts excision periods.
Cartesian and six axis robots have the ability to handle significant payloads. For articulated arm robots you have to put into consideration that payload rating can vary depending on whether the robot is within its working envelope or the axis setting.
Cartesian robots on the other hand retain their ranked payload capabilities throughout their full range movements. They have the capability to hold in place utmost payload capacity at all velocities. Collaborative robots atypically have much lower payload capacity in comparison to Cartesian and articulated arm robots.
There is no contention in the fact that articulated arm robots provide a wide range of movement elasticity. With that said, Cartesian robots can be fitted with servo rotational axes on their arms. These extra axes can provide up to six axes of aggregate movement on the Cartesian robot
Although this in itself still does not match the capabilities of the articulated arm with regards to flexibility, these qualities can provide Cartesian robots with a tad more flexibility than many assume possible.
All in all, articulated arm robots and collaborative robots definitely have a position in the plastics industry, but they are not ideally adapted to the re-motion of fragments from molding machines. Only a small number of industries use articulated arm robots for removal of fragments. Most of these companies have reverted back to Cartesian robots.