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Plastics Processes Research & Development Plastics: Auxiliary Equipment Plastics: Technology Advances

Industrial ethernet connectivity - communication without limits

Industrial ethernet connectivity – communication without limits

Plant managers often have the need for a single, plantwide communications network. The Sinamatics S120 drive platform provides communications without limits to a specific network type. It has been enhanced to include Profinet, Ethernet TCP/IP and Ethernet IP, as well as Profibus. This means that regardless of the control brands on the plant equipment, the Sinamatics drive platform can be used to link all data devices and quickly expand a network.

Total cost of ownership is reduced, and there is no need to match the existing drive network. Integration of all legacy controls is made easily.

Siemens Canada Limited, Drive Technologies Div. (Burlington, Ont.);

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Software for energy planning and monitoring

Solarsoft’s manufacturing system, Solarsoft Mattec MES, now includes energy planning and monitoring functionality to assist manufacturers with energy management programs.

The new software module facilitates the scheduling of production and workload in a way that reduces the plant’s total power demand and takes advantage of the rate savings available in off-peak demand periods. It enables the user to monitor and control energy consumption and understand the trade-offs between idling machines and shutting down and restarting later. It accurately captures the direct energy cost to produce any part, in order to accurately set prices.

It’s also a useful tool to determine which machine uses the least energy to produce any given part.

Solarsoft Business Systems (Richmond Hill, Ont.);; 905-224-2222


Multi-cycle analysis enables virtual process and mold development

Sigma Plastic Services, Inc. recently presented Sigmasoft – The Virtual Process and Mold Development software, designed to dramatically increase the accuracy of injection molding simulation.

The “Finite-Volume-Method” used by Sigmasoft makes it possible to easily and quickly integrate all available geometry and process-related information at every stage during the product development cycle. The meshing of the simulation model is completely automatic and does not require additional rework, a unique feature which offers a clear advantage in productivity and expands the benefits of process simulation from the part design engineer to the quality-responsible personnel in production. Never before has this been possible.

With the CAD files loaded and automatic mesh generated, the process is defined to incorporate the actual production process values. Subsequently, a single-cycle thermal analysis of the part and mold is conducted to identify hot and cold spots in the part and mold. Part orientation and cooling line location and temperature are all optimized to minimize the cycle time while reducing thermal gradients which negatively influence part distortion. Consequently, it is possible to evaluate the efficiency of the tempering system based on the energy consumption. Furthermore it is possible to predict the correct ejection forces and the influence of post-molding tempering processes, such as painting, galvanization, or annealing on the stress distribution on the part and the resulting dimensional stability. Removal of part material during machining operations and the redistribution of stresses can also be considered.

Sigma Plastic Services (Schaumburg, Ill.);; 847-558-5600


Telescoping side-entry robot – an alternative to “free fall”

New from CBW Automation is the Telescoping Side-Entry (TSE-500) robot, creating solutions for customers seeking alternatives to “free falling” parts from high-volume, high-cavitation molds to avoid damage, contamination and other quality control issues.

The cell was shown at NPE running a high-volume 2×4 stack mold built by StackTeck Systems Ltd, Brampton, Ont., molding polypropylene thin-wall food container lids. The system molds eight lids per cycle which are captured the the high-speed TSE-500.

In addition to achieving better part quality, robotic part capture by the TSE-500 robot provides part sensing to avoid trapped parts in the mold. The robot rapidly “telescopes” into the mold to grab the parts, and “telescopes” back out, offering high-speed performance — faster than conventional top entry models.

Because of its compact footprint, the TSE helps molders optimize floor spacer in a way that other side-entry robots cannot.

CBW Automation (Fort Collins, Colorado);; 970-229-9500


Smallest model S5-15 from Sepro completes new range of high-performance robots

The Model S5-15, the smallest unit in the advanced S5 Line of Cartesian beam robots from Sepro America, debuted at NPE 2012.

Each of the S5 Line robots was developed with longer strokes and larger payload capacities than units of comparable size in the previous Generation 4 (G4) range. For instance, the standard 5-kg (11-lb) payload of the S5-15 represents an increase of more than 66% over the maximum available on the G4 unit, and the 500-mm (19.6-inch) demolding or strip stroke is 25% longer. This means S5-15 can handle parts with deeper draw.

A single-piece rigid frame structure, combined with prismatic linear guide rails and powerful servomotors, mean that this increased level of performance is achieved while maintaining the same level of speed on all axes. Maximum speed on the horizontal axis is 4 m/sec (13 ft/sec), 5 m/sec (16.5 ft/sec) on the vertical axis, and 3 m/sec (10 ft/sec) on the demolding stroke. Other important specifications include a 1500- to 4000-mm (60- to 157-inch) horizontal stroke and a 1000-mm (40-inch) vertical stroke.

Sepro America LLC (Pittsburgh, Pa.);; 412-459-0450

Industries Laferriere (Masxouche, Que.);; 450-477-8880

Shadow Automation Inc. (Uxbridge, Ont.); 416-464-2070


Shelf-mount robots make North American debut

At NPE 2012, KUKA Robotics introduced the KR QUANTEC K shelf-mounted robot generation for the first time in North America with the debut of the QUANTEC KR 120 R3900 Ultra.

The KR QUANTEC K ultra weighs in at 270 kg, has a reach of 2900 mm and payload capacity of 120 kg, making it the world’s strongest shelf-mounted robot with the highest power density.

The new KR QUANTEC Series of shelf-mount robots also includes the KR QUANTEC K Prime. KR QUANTEC K Prime is the perfect shelf-mounted robot for any application with payloads ranging from 90 kg to 210 kg.

The new KUKA QUANTEC K shelf-mounted robots are about 12% lighter, making the new series significantly easier to mount on injection molding machines. With the latest state-of-the-art drive technology and the new KR C4 controller, the QUANTEC K robots achieve 25% shorter unloading times.

Due to the extremely low base, they have an even greater downward reach – optimizing the unloading of injection molding machines. An
other superior feature of the new shelf-mounted robots is that axis 2 is located 400 mm further forward, significantly expanding the working envelope forwards and downwards. The hole pattern for installation on the shelf has remained the same and the flange is identical, ensuring compatibility with predecessor models.

KUKA Robotics Canada (Mississauga, Ont.);; 905-670-8600


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