“With SAM-C, we have succeeded in engineering the smallest automated injection moulding cell, comprising robot and material handling technology," explains Jürgen Schulze, Director Automation. Highlighting further advantages of this compact footprint, fully automated moulding production line, Schulze explains: “We offer high system availability with minimal repair and maintenance work, thanks to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s in-house servo motor technology and low-maintenance drive and guide technology. With the corresponding vacuum technology, the systems also deliver significant energy-savings."
Expansion of the automation strategy
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is expanding and strengthening its range of robotic solutions. The partnership with Sepro is being expanded internationally, and the range of robots is being significantly strengthened with the addition of the company's proprietary robots. Central components, such as the drives, are sourced from the Sumitomo Drive Technologies subsidiary - the Lafert Group in Italy.
The new SAM robots have been designed specifically for injection moulding machines with clamping force sizes between 50 and 500 tons, and for standard applications with cycle times of 10 seconds and higher. Customers benefit from process and system technology from a single supplier source, complete with hardware and software control integration of robot technology into the injection moulding unit and production-optimised robotic mechanics fully customised to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag machines. "With our SAM robots, customers benefit from an attractive price-performance ratio incorporating full injection moulding and automation, including CE marking conformity," says Schulze.
With the IO-Link communication system, intelligent sensors and actuators can be connected to the automation system. This means the SAM series fully meets future Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing requirements. Additionally, the robots all incorporate the company’s "myConnect" web-based software solution. This central platform gives customers direct access to a wide range of fully networked support services, helping to better manage inefficiencies, reduce costs, optimise total cost of ownership, troubleshoot errors and minimise downtime.
Strategically optimised to our machines
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has been using robot technology to automate its injection moulding machines since the middle of the 1990s. Until now, the company relied on external partner solutions. Including since 2009 a standard SDR Sepro robot. To-date, these robotics have been applied in various sizes for a wide variety of processing applications. Schulze emphasises: “This partnership will be maintained as an essential element within the new Sumitomo Robotics platform, which pulls together all of our automation activities. However, with our own-branded SAM robots, we are adding a new element to achieve our strategic goal - optimised system technology engineered specifically for Sumitomo (SHI) Demag injection moulding machines.”
Responding to increasing demands from the market, including medical, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, electronics and packaging sectors, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has focused its efforts on developing scalable units with more automation functional elements. Aside from robotics, the company has paid specific attention on conveyor belts and safety features, plus the application of unique manufacturing solutions specific to the injection moulding process, including handling, storage and buffer systems.
IntElect robots with a range of motions
Value is always the most important consideration with robotics. Any automation solution needs to solve the specific challenge, be scalable and offer a good return on investment. Often as a result of increased output, enhanced quality, repeatable precision and reduced waste.
“Standardised production solutions that can be used flexibly, less workforce interventions, low maintenance and complete units that fit inside the smallest existing production footprint are among the key considerations requested by plastic moulding customers. Our new robotic platform fulfils this brief entirely,” explains Schulze.
Two "handle&place" solutions are being showcased at Fakuma 2021. The SAM-C10 features on an LSR IntElect 130 ton LSR application. In the second exhibit, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag demonstrates the automation of In Mould Decoration (IMD) within an IntElect 220 ton production cell. The design of the vertical axis being the key differential design feature . "For the IMD application height optimisation is achieved using a compact telescope axis," announces the Automation Director.