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Sepro’s robots in a live demonstration

Sepro’s robots in a live demonstration

News 14.02.2019

Demonstrating the productivity-improvement potential of cell automation in plastics injection molding, Sepro America was exhibiting in at Plastec West 2019, the tradeshow that took place Feb. 5 – 7 at the Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

A Sepro 6X-90L 6-axis articulated-arm robot and a Sepro Success 11 Cartesian beam robot with telescoping arm were collaborating in a live demonstration of insert loading and part removal. An S5 Picker was also operating in the booth.

Screenshot 2 Screenshot 1

A Sepro 6X-90L 6-axis articulated-arm robot (left) and a Sepro Success 11 Cartesian beam robot with telescoping arm at Plastec West 2019


In the demonstration cell, the two robots took turns picking parts from a simulated injection mold, placing them on a conveyor and then picking them off the other end of the conveyor and placing them back on the “mold” cores. It illustrated capabilities like insert pick-up and placement, part removal and accurate positioning for post-mold operations.

“For years we have been saying that robots should be expected to do much more than simply replacing a machine operator for part removal,” said Jim Healy, Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “Today, as interest in Industry 4.0 grows, more and more of our customers are discovering that they can, in fact, make added-value parts and improve productivity, by harnessing the potential of automation.”

A key component is Sepro’s proprietary Visual control platform. Developed specifically for plastics injection molding, the control can be customized to control the simplest sprue picker or the most advanced 3-, 5- or 6-axis robots. It can control one robot or an entire automation cell, including robots and pre-and post-mold peripheral equipment like insert feeders, vision systems, assembly and palletizing equipment. Several different levels of integration with one or more molding machines are available. These include full integration with the IMM control. When fully integrated, the robot application program runs in the IMM control and all application data, including robot programming and possibly other auxiliary equipment like mold temperature controls, are filed in one place in the IMM control memory.

New S5 Picker
Sepro’s display also featured the S5 Picker, a versatile beam-mounted Cartesian sprue picker with 3 servo-driven axes. Based on the same basic mechanical design as the Sepro Success range of economical, general-purpose robots, it is compact and fast cycling, with take-out times as quick as 0.7 second and overall cycle times as short as 3 seconds. Sized for IMMs from 20 to 200 tons, S5 Pickers are fitted with a simple sprue gripper, but it can be supplied optionally with an R1 wrist rotation and can operate simple end-of-arm tooling. At the show, the picker operating space was protected by a laser light curtain. If a person approached the robot while it was operating, the sensors would have signaled the Sepro control, which would have first slowed the robot and eventually stoped its motion entirely to prevent operator injury or damage to the equipment.

Five Sepro Robots at the Show
Sepro had a total of five robots at Plastec West 2019. In addition to the three described above two others were on display elsewhere on the show floor.

• Toshiba Machine Co. of America had an S5 Picker operating on a 110-ton molding machine.
• Absolute Robot was featuring a Sepro 6X-170, six-axis articulated-arm robot branded as Absolute Haitian by Sepro. Under a 2018 partners hip agreement, the two companies are making 3-axis, 5-axis and 6-axis Sepro robots available with Haitian and Zhafir plastic injection-molding machines sold in the United States and Canada.

About Sepro
Sepro was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. Today, Sepro Group is one of the largest independent sellers of robots in the world, offering a wider choice of robots than any supplier in the plastics industry. Three-, five-, and six-axis servo robots; special-purpose units; and complete automation systems, are all supported by the Visual control platform developed by Sepro especially for injection molders. This unique controller is a key component in what the company refers to as ‘agile integration’ – a collaborative approach to equipment connectivity and interoperability that can be tailored to exactly suit the specific needs processors and injection-molding OEMs. At Sepro, customers “Experience Full Control.”

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