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Robot and human collaboration at Plastec West 2020

Robot and human collaboration at Plastec West 2020

News 13.02.2020

Sepro America demonstrated the potential for collaboration between human workers and robots at Plastec West 2020 at the Convention Center in Anaheim, CA.

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The simulated plastics injection-molding cell involves a Sepro Success 11 Cartesian beam robot and a UR5e collaborative robot (cobot) from Universal Robots. The 3-axis industrial Success robot operates in a protective enclosure, where it removes a ‘part’ (actually a USB stick) from a simulated mold. Then it traverses to a small opening in the side of the enclosure where it positions the stick for pick-up by the UR5e running outside the protected area. The cobot then turns and places the stick in a magazine where it can be picked up by human visitors to the booth.

“Cobots are perfectly suited to peripheral operations that require human-machine interactions,” says Jim Healy, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Sepro America, “and these capabilities are increasingly in demand in the plastics industry. By combining Sepro’s experience in plastics molding with the collaborative technologies of Universal Robots we can offer our customers even greater flexibility and performance in these systems.”

Sepro, the global leader in the field of robots and industrial automation for the plastic industry, recently signed a cooperation agreement with Universal Robots, market leader in collaborative robots. That partnership allows Sepro to integrate cobots into the automation solutions it develops for injection molders.

The Success 11 in the demonstration is a 3-axis robot that brings servo-driven speed and precision to general-purpose part-removal and simple automation applications. It is sized to service injection-molding machines with between 80 and 180 tons of clamp.

The compact and lightweight UR5e cobot from Universal Robots has a 360⁰ reach of up to 33.5 inches and can handle a total payload, including end-of-arm tooling, of 11 lb. As their name implies, cobots are designed to share a workspace with humans, making automation more flexible and easier to implement.

A stand-alone display features an S5 Picker, a versatile beam-mounted Cartesian sprue picker with 3 servo-driven axes. Based on the same basic mechanical design as the Success range, 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.

The Sepro exhibit will also present My Gripper, a unique approach to sourcing end-of-arm tooling components, including structural parts, vacuum cups, cutting elements and a whole range of tooling accessories made by Sepro and two other leading suppliers: Gimatic and AGS.

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