Injection Molding: New Robots at Fakuma
New economical and high-end robots from Wittmann Battenfeld.
At this month’s Fakuma show in Germany, Wittmann Group (U.S. office in Torrington, Conn.) will make two introductions in linear robots. One is a second model in the economical Primus series for less challenging pick-and-place applications. The Primus 16, introduced last year at the K 2016 show, has three servo axes and a pneumatic wrist; it is aimed at presses from 120 to 250 metric tons. The new Primus 14 is for machines of 50 to 150 m.t. Further optimization of the design means the highly compact control cabinet can easily fit inside the protective frame of the injection machine.
Primus 14 comes with a horizontal axis 900- to 2000-mm long, vertical stroke up to 1000 mm, and strip stroke of 440 mm. Like the previous model, it uses the R8 control pendant and absolute encoders that prevent collisions by recognizing the robot’s position as soon as it is switched on.
Wittmann’s second new linear servo robot at Fakuma is the first model of the new WX series. This is described as a “hybrid” line developed for the appliance white-goods and household-goods sectors. The new model WX163 has a payload capacity of 45 kg (99 lb) midway between the W853 (50 kg) and W843 pro (35 kg). It also combines the steel and aluminum frame components of the W8 series and W8 pro series, respectively. Its basic configuration includes a pneumatic C-axis with exceptionally high torque.
It can accept modular wrist components from other models; controllers for A, B, and C axes are already included, so there is no need to enlarge the control cabinet or change its position to add wrist axes.Horizontal strokes are available up to 18,000 mm; the vertical stroke is 2600 mm and strip stroke is 1500 mm.
Like the W8 pro models, the WX series has the ambiLED signal lights (red, yellow, green) on the end of the horizontal beam to indicate the robot’s status at a distance. It comes with the CNC9 controller and R9 pendant, as well as a larger display of 10.1 in. with multi-touch attributes and special step keys for setup.
Hot buttons at the show will be multi-component molding, in-mold labeling/decorating (IML/IMD), in-mold assembly, medical molding, liquid silicone rubber (LSR), micro-molding, and high-speed packaging.
Blazing speed plus shrinking energy consumption supported the “green” theme at the big show. Smarter controls and growing connectivity were another key focus.
Often overlooked as a small part of an automation system, clever end-of-arm tooling techniques and designs can improve part quality, heighten efficiency, and eliminate headaches for any molder.