Advances in technology have made it possible for small and mid-sized companies to automate. Today, robots are affordably priced, easy to program, and can do increasingly complex tasks. As a result, these firms can compete in terms of prices, quality, and consistency. The use of robots also enables them to respond quickly to fluctuations in demand.
No sector benefits from these new automation opportunities more than the injection molding sector. Companies are adopting an ever-growing number of injection molding robots into their processes to ensure that they maintain high-quality production standards, reduce waste, and minimize the risks of accidents and injuries.
While the simple step of incorporating a robot into the injection molding process is enough to yield a significant increase in productivity, it is always possible to get more out of your robot. Here are tips that will come in handy in helping you to get the most out of your investment.
Choosing a better end-of-arm tool
When you are using a robot in the demolding stage, how fast the robot can capture and release a product plays an important role in determining efficiency. Therefore, choosing the right end-of-arm tool can be the difference between an efficient process and a highly efficient process. Over time, this adds up and can be a deciding factor in terms of which companies barely survive and which ones thrive.
You can improve the efficiency of your facility by choosing a better end-of-arm tool. Generally, vacuum end-of-arm tools are considered to be better at picking up and placing things. They tend to demold at a faster rate, weigh less and are relatively inexpensive. When compared to gripper end-of-arm tools, they offer better opportunities for increased efficiency. Therefore, if your molding process allows for these arms, you should definitely choose them.
Changing the motion of the robotic arm
When programming your robot, you will have the option to choose the path that its arm takes, and how fat it more. It turns out that you can do more than increase the speed of the robot. You can get even more savings in time by simply programming more efficient paths.
Right-angled motions are inefficient. They are time-wasting. Therefore, if you want to save time, you should opt for a J-motion when designing the robot’s movements. While the time saved with these movements may seem negligible, it adds up.
Traveling distance of the arm
If you are using a robot in the demolding process, its arm has to move in and out of the mold area frequently. While giving it a healthy clearance is necessary for safety reasons, the distance between where the main arm is staged and the mold should be kept at a minimum. This is necessary to reduce the demolding stroke of the robot arm, something that will improve the demolding efficiency of the robot.
Optimizing robot entry
Normally, the press communicates with the robot. It gives the robot a mold-open-complete signal, telling it when it is time to start executing its share of tasks. This type of coordination is not very efficient as it allows for idle-time when the arm is in motion.
Instead of waiting for the mold-open-complete signal, you can program the robot in such a way that it starts moving earlier. This will ensure that it gets into the mold-open area as soon as it is safe to enter, and before the mold-open-complete signal. This way, you can shave off a slice of the time it takes to complete a molding cycle.
These are some of the ways through which you can optimize your processes to minimize demolding time. Implementing these strategies will maximize the output of your molding machine, something that will minimize the overall per-unit cost. Furthermore, a more efficient molding process means that you do not need to invest in an additional machine when demand rises.
By simply optimizing your robots, you can give your company the competitive edge that it needs to dominate your market.