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Mitsubishi Robots Take Their Pick in Plastic Injection Moulding Application

A Mitsubishi Electric robot, PLC and HMI combination has provided an ideal solution for its latest take-out system for plastic injection stretch blow moulding machinery.

The MK5 which also supports integrated leak testing of plastic containers is based on a Q-series PLC, a MELFA six-axis articulated arm robot and a GOT Series touch-screen HMI. The resulting machine not only reduces transfer and testing times but also provides greater flexibility to adapt for different production runs.

Mitsubishi Electric helped to develop the MK5 robot cell to improve productivity for manufacturers of blow-moulded plastic containers. Having seen an opportunity for making improvements over existing ISBM take-out technology.

Not your usual take-out solution

“Existing take-out solutions tend to use three-axis robotic arms to carry out a simple pick-and-place function. As a result, users often need to redesign a part of the machine each time a new project or type of plastic container needs to be processed,” explained Julian Tarratt, Sales Manager at PCE Automation.

“With increased personalisation and shorter runs of products becoming popular we wanted to develop a more versatile, efficient and reliable solution. Our preferred automation partner, Mitsubishi Electric, suggested a MELFA RV-F-Q series robot with a full range of movement through six-axis articulation. Using the more dextrous robot we were able to remove traditional limitations and provide a more adaptable solution.”

Video; Robots take their pick in plastic moulding application


Integrated automation solutions for optimal performance

Companies often fall into two camps; those that regularly maintain motors, fans, pumps etc. whether they need it or not, and others who wait for something to go wrong before they repair or replace the affected part. Although regular maintenance is better than none, both can be inneficient and waste valuable time and money.

Mitsubishi Electric FR-A800 and FR-F800 a.c. Inverters can monitor variables such as output current and torque, detecting any unusual readings that may indicate a potential fault. Alternatively, if you prefer a time-based maintenance schedule, they can also log actual run hours or number of starts to make your life easier.

Moulding the future of plastic container manufacturing

In a similar way, the relationship between speed and load characteristics during normal operation of a fan or pump can be prerecorded and compared with load characteristics during actual operation. Not only does this help detect worn components, it also aids the detection of problems such as blocked filters and pipes.

Mitsubishi plastic moulding Robot