The new Roboshot i Series electric presses from Fanuc Ltd. in Japan will be introduced here at NPE 2000 by Milacron Fanuc, Batavia, Ohio. The line incorporates numerous improvements in both mechanical design and control software. Among them are a more rigid frame, lower machine profile, reduced vibration, reduced screw and barrel wear, lower pressure loss in the nozzle, and increased heater capacity, according to Fanuc sources.
The i Series also boasts higher injection speeds: Maximum for the standard injection package has been raised from 150 to 200 mm/sec, while the high-speed package has been increased from 300 to 330 mm/sec. The machines' new five-point toggle is also said to be faster than ever before. As an example of increased speed, Fanuc cites four-cavity molding of LCP connectors in an overall cycle of 0.99 sec. Yet the Roboshot still holds closed-loop position repeatability of ±0.0004 in. on injection, clamp, and ejectors, according to the company.
Also new is a flow meter and flow-control valve for the water-cooling jacket on the feed throat. These are said to control feed-throat temperature within 1° C, versus 4° C previously. Smaller deviation in recovery time is the claimed result.
The series contains 12 models from 16.5 to 385 tons. Available shot sizes are 0.37 to 32.4 oz, with injection pressures up to 37,000 psi. Their new controls include a touchscreen for set-up, in addition to the pushbutton operator panel. The i Series now has three artificial intelligence functions: The first is AI pressure-profile control, which was available previously. New AI metering control senses screw-motor torque and adjusts screw rpm to accommodate variations in resin bulk density and feeding characteristics. The result is said to be more consistent recovery time, working of the melt, melt density, and shot weight. Also new is ultra-sensitive AI mold protection, which senses the load on the motor driving the ball screw that closes the mold. Built-in DOE software is also provided.
Windows CE networking software is also new. It allows set-up and control of robots and other auxiliaries from the machine control panel. Networking of multiple presses from a central terminal is available via an Ethernet connection supplied on all machines.