Key Advantages That Robots Offer To Injection MoldingJune 9, 2020
As in any other manufacturing process, robotics and automation are already greatly involved in injection molding and bring considerable benefits to the table. According to statistics released by the European Plastics Machinery Organization EUROMAP, the number of sold injection molding machines equipped with robots rose from 18% in 2010 to almost a third of all injection machines sold with 32% by the first quarter of 2019. There is definitely a change in attitude in this trend, with a respectable number of plastic injection molders embracing robots to get ahead of their competition.
Undoubtedly, there has been a serious upwards trend towards the use of robotics and automation in plastics processing. A significant part of this is driven by the demand for more flexible solutions, as the 6-axis industrial robots in precision molding, for example, are certainly more common nowadays than several years before. In addition, the price gap between traditional injection molding machinery and one with robotics equipped to it has closed markedly. At the same time, they are way easier to program, operate, simpler to integrate, and come with numerous benefits. In the following paragraphs of this article, we are going to talk about the top advantages that robots offer to the plastic injection molding industry.
The Robots Are Easy To Operate
The robots used in injection molding processes are easy to set up and quite simple to use. First, you will need to program the robots to work with your existing injection molding system, a task that is relatively easy for a skilled programming team. Once you connect the robots to your network, the next step is to program the instructions into the robot so the robot can start doing the work it’s supposed to do and perfectly fit in the system.
In many cases, companies try avoiding the use of robotics into their companies mostly out of ignorance and fear that the robots will be challenging to use and that there will be extra expenses to hire an adequate programmer to man the robotics. That is not the case as once the robots are well incorporated into the injection molding system, and they are pretty easy to handle. They can be controlled by a regular factory worker with sound mechanical background.
As you probably know, injection molding is a repetitive task that helps manufacture the same or similar products for each injection. To ensure that this monotonous task does now wear down your employees making them prone to making work-related mistakes or even harming themselves, injection molding robots present the perfect solution. The robots ultimately help to automate the work and practically take it away from the hands of human beings. This way, the company can keep producing its critical products with the sole help of machines, and focus their human employees on generating sales and increase the revenue.
Faster Return On Investment
Reliability, repeatability, astounding speed, the possibility of multi-tasking, and long-term cost savings are all key reasons why end-users should opt for a robotic injection molding solution. Numerous plastic components manufacturers are finding the capital cost of robot equipped injection molding machinery far more affordable, which certainly helps to justify the return on investment.
Being able to manufacture 24/7 inevitably increases the productivity and consequently, profitability of the business. Besides, with today’s industrial robots, a single processor won’t just be specified for a single application but can be quickly reprogrammed to support a different product.
Manual injection of plastic into the molds is known to be a tedious job. Besides, when the task is left to an employee, the molten liquids injected into the molds will not be uniform in most cases. On the contrary, when this task is delegated to a robot, you will always have the same results. The same goes for pretty much every production level that you will decide to use robotics on, thus reducing the number of defective products in a grand manner.
The automatization of your plastic injection molding process through robots is highly cost-effective too. You can use the same robots you have on your injection molding process to automate any other manual task within your operation. With a solid schedule, the robots can work on multiple aspects of the operation both efficiently and effectively. Even the changeover in most cases takes a very little time, particularly if you don’t need to change the end of arm tools. Just let your programming squad give a new command to the robot as it will carry on with the new task.
With cycle time as one of the essential parts of the injection molding process, automating it with robots will mean that you won’t ever have to worry about cycle times again. Set the robot to the required time intervals, and the molds will always be uniformly injected, just as you instructed.
Changing Workforce Needs
With the shortage of skilled labor and labor costs rising, robots can help your company to maintain consistency and top-notch quality. With the power of industrial automation, one operator can look after ten machines. This way, you will be able to achieve more consistent output while lessening manufacturing expenses.
Another issue here, rather than being classified as job takers, is that the adoption of robotics creates even more varied and exciting jobs. For instance, robotics is the driving force for the need of more advanced engineering skills in the company. As we enter the era of Industry 4.0, there is a definite shift towards integrated production sites, with a need for peripheral equipment and robotics to work seamlessly together.
It’s no surprise that robotic automation offers plenty of benefits for a wide range of applications, including injection molding. The incredible variety of reasons why injection molding producers turn to robotics is undoubtedly justified, and be sure that this industry will never stop improving the world we live in.