CASE

injection molding removal, assessment, and packing

When a large-volume project for rapid Covid-19 testing kits was placed with GEMÜ, it was essential to automate as many process steps as possible in order to be able to produce high-quality parts cost-efficiently.

Robotec Solutions was awarded the tender for this challenging project as it has many years of experience in automating injection molding machines.

  • Task

    Produce a total of seven different plastic parts on two injection molding machines situated side by side. Automatically remove the parts from the machines, assess them for quality, and then pack and stack them in trays.

    Remove and process the finished parts together per injection molding cycle (cycle = <12 seconds).

  • Solution

    Sales/Engineering worked closely together with GEMÜ to produce a highly flexible yet easy-to-operate system. The focus was on keeping spacing minimal despite all the processes involved. While the systems were being developed, there was actually a several-fold increase in the units needed as a result of Covid-19; this was accommodated for by expanding the robots, all in within a very short time frame.

    Two automation cells were built with three/five robots in the final stage. Standardized gripper exchange systems, high-resolution camera inspections, an electric rotary indexing table, cleanroom-compliant conveyor belts, label printers, and a sophisticated Industrie 4.0 safety system were used. Both systems were easy to operate via a large touch screen and could be swapped over from one product to the next within just a few minutes.

  • Conclusion

    Systems with complex specifications were successfully realized despite constant changes in requirements. The changes were implemented (including over the weekend) thanks to short communication channels at Robotec Solutions and its highly flexible employees. Everything met the customer's requirements.

  • Key attributes

    • Automation system can be converted to another product in less than 10 minutes
    • Production is networked with one centralized operating point via an HMI
    • Complex vision inspections can be performed on the injection molded parts
    • Systems are highly autonomous due to automatic tray handling
    • Both systems have very small footprint/small space requirements in the expensive cleanroom

Jörg Lanz, Sales

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