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Two robots complement one another

Сase studies

Jimmy Teo

The Sanwa Group, based in Singapore, was established as Sanwa Plastic Industry Pte Ltd in 1977. The company specializes in providing one-stop manufacturing facilities including mold design and mold manufacturing, injection molding, and assemblies of injection molded products.
Their primary manufacturing capabilities are found in specialized technologies: hightech sensor module insert molding for the automotive sector, high precision molding for the biomedical industry, and high volume precision parts for the energy sector.

Less human intervention
Sanwa decided to make additional investments to increase efficiency and further improve the quality of their products. And they wanted to reduce the running costs, especially those that were due to time from poorly skilled labor. Automation was given the top priority when it came to planning the next investments. The highest level of production consistency, as well as minimal (at least reduced) human intervention, were the goals of Dr. Ricky Souw, the Sanwa Group CEO. In close cooperation, the Sanwa staff and WITTMANN BATTENFELD reached a solution that, in the beginning, was thought to be almost impossible. After several brain storming sessions, Sanwa and WITTMANN BATTENFELD agreed to further automate an already existing production cell.

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Left to right: Mr. Jimmy Teo, Managing Director of WITTMANN BATTENFELD Singapore; Dr. Ricky Souw, Group CEO of Sanwa; Mr. Lim SH, General Manager of Sanwa; Mr. Wee TJ, WITTMANN BATTENFELD Engineer; Mr. Alvin Tan, Operation Manager of Sanwa; Mr. Chou SC, Production Manager of Sanwa.

The automation solution for this cell consisted of a W833 robot from WITTMANN that was equipped with a customized end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) for the removal of parts from two cavities, and a turntable for the placing of inserts. This installation was made in 2013. After the parts had been taken out of their respective injection molding machines (with a clamping force of 220 tons), they were placed on a conveyor belt that took them to an operator who brought the parts to their respective inspection stations. The same operator then took the good parts to the tray station, and from there they went further downstream.

An investment in the future
In November 2015, an additional WITTMANN W818 robot was installed. This robot was fully integrated in the production cell directly beside the already existing W833 robot. The new robot’s task was to take over the handling actions with regard to the manual inspection and the conveying of the parts to the tray station. This process now guarantees that the inspections of the molded parts are carried out in time and absolutely correctly, and also that all the good parts are placed onto the trays in the correct orientation.
This new solution has not only reduced the need for human intervention within the process, but also the required floor space by at least 30%. When executing this solution, the main, and challenging, concern was to avoid collisions.
The WITTMANN BATTENFELD engineers matched them to ensure full protection for both the W833 and W818 operation areas.

Why the WITTMANN Group was chosen
Mr. Chou, the Sanwa Production Manager, points out: “The user-friendly WITTMANN R8.3 robot control was one of the main reasons for us to select WITTMANN BATTENFELD when realizing this application. Another key consideration was the superb availability and know-how of the local WITTMANN BATTENFELD service team.”
The business relationship between Sanwa and WITTMANN BATTENFELD Singapore started three years ago. Today, Sanwa is operating eight robots, seven low-speed granulators, four dual zone mold temperature controllers, and two dry air dryers from the WITTMANN Group.

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