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27. September - 01. October 2022
Taipei Plas
Taipei, Taiwan
19. - 26. October 2022
Düsseldorf, Germany
01. - 05. February 2023
New Delhi, India
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Injection moulding solutions at K2022

Injection moulding solutions at K2022


Based on a development platform that centres on machine sustainability, reliability and the market's best TCO (total cost of ownership), manufacturers opting for all-electric FANUC technology could rest assured that their investment wouldl pay dividends, both financially and environmentally. At K 2022 (19-26 October, Dusseldorf, Germany), FANUC was shining the spotlight on its credentials as a provider of sustainable production solutions for the plastics industry.

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The company's latest-generation ROBOSHOT Alpha SiB injection moulding machine not only impresses with its low energy consumption but also features a small overall footprint, thereby saving production space. Using innovative servo technology and an intelligent energy recovery system reduce the electricity consumption of ROBOSHOT machines by up to 70% compared with hydraulic models. Each FANUC demonstration cell at K 2022 was displaying its energy consumption.

Full electric technology
FANUC began its green journey more than 35 years ago with its first ROBOSHOT all-electric injection moulding machine. Aside from better environmental credentials, electric technology is far cleaner than hydraulics, making this advance important for sectors such as medical, where the absence of particulates and vapours in cleanroom environments is paramount.

Carbon footprint reductions are available thanks to the elimination of oil treatment and disposal, while there is no requirement for water to cool the hydraulics as FANUC ROBOSHOT machines use air cooling. Furthermore, FANUC machines are easily configurable for use with the latest biodegradable materials, helping industry and society to overcome the issue of single-use plastics.

Proven longevity
Outlining the reliability of FANUC technology, the MTBF (mean time between failures) for the company's CNC systems is more than 30 years, while for robots it is over 20 years. Furthermore, any maintenance requirements are simple to perform. The FANUC Panel iH Pro multifunctional display can highlight impending issues prior to failure, even providing a video or image that outlines how rectification can take place in-house to minimise downtime. Alongside exceptionally high spare parts availability, fewer components and less wear, investing in FANUC technology will deliver the market's most attractive TCO, potentially several factors lower than that available from hydraulic machines.

Users of ROBOSHOT machines also benefit from low piece part costs due to high uptime and productivity, supported by injection rates of up to 350 mm/s and parallel machine movements.

Sustainable, reliable, low-cost production
Turning all of the theory into reality, FANUC was showcasing four automated production cells at K 2022.

For instance, a FANUC ROBOSHOT S220iB (220T capacity) injection moulding machine was producing polypropylene parts from a 48-cavity mould manufactured by Foboha, with parts handling via a Sepro Success 33 linear robot and Gimatic gripper. Integrated file management allows easy program transfer between machine and robot. In addition, fully integrated Regloplas water manifolds (via VNC – virtual network computing) ensured easy setting and adjustment using the ROBOSHOT HMI screen.

For the mould, the system featured Priamus cavity pressure sensors with an E63 fill control interface. Fill control balances the cavity by adjusting the hot-runner nozzle temperature. The latest EUROMAP 82.2/OPC 40082-2 control interface was providing communication with a Gammaflux hot-runner temperature control system.

Clean performance
Visitors from the medical sector benefited from taking a look at FANUC's demonstration cell involving a ROBOSHOT S150iB (150T capacity) injection moulding machine with a TIM 8-cavity mould for 20ml polypropylene syringes. A FANUC M20iB/25C industrial 6-axis robot with Gimatic gripper was set to provide the automation. The system featured integrated Regloplas water manifolds via VNC and an integrated FANUC servo unscrewing function for the mould. A plug and play FANUC iRVision visual detection system was checking for the correct demoulding of parts.

Optimised for cleanroom environments, this standard medical package also demonstrated a PETEK laminar flow box for class 8 cleanroom use. Further features include bush-less tie bars for enhanced cleanliness in the mould area (less lubricant requirement), FDA-approved grease, high-gloss paint for easy cleaning and rust-proof linear guides.

Bio-compostable materials
Visitors to K 2022 could view a ROBOSHOT S100iB (100T capacity) injection moulding machine producing 8-cavity coffee capsules from a bio-compostable plastic. Fully configured to process this innovative material, the ROBOSHOT machine at the exhibition had an Inmex 26mm barrel with integrated heater featuring insulation and cooling for energy-efficient operation. The latest EUROMAP 82.1/OPC 40082-1 control interface provided communication with an HB-Therm mould temperature controller.

Full automation was courtesy of a FANUC LR Mate 200iD/7L compact industrial robot, highlighting the benefit of FANUC QSSR (Quick & Simple Start-up of Robotization). QSSR makes it possible to connect the ROBOSHOT machine and robot using a single Ethernet cable. Users have the subsequent option to undertake G-code programming of the robot via the machine tool's control. The robot also showcased a Zimmer tool-change system.

LSR moulding in action
The final demonstration cell was focusssing on an LSR (liquid silicone rubber) application. Central to the system was a ROBOSHOT S150iB injection moulding machine supported by a FANUC M20iD/25 robot. This FANUC LSR package was producing LSR sealing components from a 64-cavity SEI WOO mould. Notable features included: a FANUC LSR plasticiser; integrated vacuum pump, mould heat circuits and control; standard enhanced software package for LSR moulding functionality; and LSR dosing equipment from ACH Hefner.

IoT corner
Elsewhere on the booth, visitors could view FANUC's extensive IoT capabilities, including the potential to connect to FANUC machines using EUROMAP 77/OPC40077 (an interface based on the internationally recognised OPC UA standard).

The spotlight was also fallingon ROBOSHOT-LINKi-2, a production and quality information tool that can monitor the entire moulding process, schedule upcoming jobs, analyse and evaluate historical data, create customised reports, and issue downtime notification emails. LINKi-2 manages up to 1000 ROBOSHOT machine in real time from remote PCs or smart devices, although it can also run on the ROBOSHOT screen.

Another highlight was a connection from a FANUC ROBOSHOT machine to the UMATI booth at K 2022.

Everything on view from FANUC at K 2022 is available from a single source thanks to the ONE FANUC approach. A single, common, easy-to-integrate platform encompassing machines, robots and software provides complete flexibility for customers seeking an easy pathway to optimised production.

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