Rapid technological improvements in automation and robotics have spurred the adoption of industrial robots in numerous areas in a manufacturing environment. At the forefront of these advancements are industrial robot manufacturers, they are tasked with building these machines as per the needs of the industry.
Robots are manufactured in all shapes, sizes, and specifications. Their main differentiators are workspace, speed, and size. There are palletizing robots, injection molding robots, assembly-line robots, to name but a few. Injection molding robots basically fabricate parts by injecting molten matter into a mold.
This procedure can be performed with a range of contents, among them metal; die casting, elastomers, glasses, and ordinarily thermoplastic and thermosetting polymers. This review will divulge on the different types of injection molding robots that are available in the market today.
Types of Injection Molding Robots Available
Also known as Cartesian, gantry, or linear robots, 3-axis robots are the most commonly manufactured injection molding robots. This is because of the client’s preference and being termed as easy to use and program. Also, their configurations are flexible enabling users to adjust speed and stroke.
Cartesian robots work on a three linear axis system; X, Y, and Z. This means that they move straight on three axis; side to side, up and down, in and out. They have a desirable range of operation that is up to tens of meters.
5-Axis Servo Robots
In today’s world, a 5-axis servo robot can offer the same part handling capabilities that a 6-axis robot also provides. These two robots can offer similar workload capabilities, but their configuration differs significantly as the 5-axis servo robot utilizes the X, Y, and Z axes. The servo arm at the end of the vertical arm is where all the difference comes in.
Instead of moving through the full zero to ninety or zero to one hundred and eighty degrees respectively, a servo robot can move through any portion of these arcs, and the movements can be executed simultaneously. In fact, servo robots can move in all five axes at any time while maintaining complete control.
6-axis robots are manufactured in all shapes and sizes and are also considered to be all in one robots as well. Though 6-axis robots can be miniature-sized, ideal for injection molding, typically, they are tremendous and are generally used in assembly processes such as fixing seats in motor vehicles.
6-axis robots function like a human arm, meaning they can pick up something from one point to another. Programming these robots is hectic due to the different shapes and sizes and are preferred as they can make movements that other robots cannot make.
In terms of axis motion, cylindrical robots are similar to 3-axis robots. Cylindrical robots have one cylindrical joint bonding the links and another joint, which is rotary at the base. These robots have a prismatic working area with a pivoting shaft and an expandable arm that moves vertically. This makes them also ideal for functions such as injection molding.
Prismatic configured robots provide parallel and perpendicular linear movements as well as rotary motion about the vertical axis. The minimalistic design of the end arm enables it to reach tight and restricted workspaces without loss of repeatability and speed. Cylindrical robots are used for applications such as picking, rotating, and placement.
Side Entry Robots
Side entry robots are suitable for injection molding processes. Their system is designed for a single face mold with single, double, or quadruple cavities. This robot places labels and takes out parts automatically and rapidly maintaining a cycle time of up to six seconds on average. This, in turn, improves production efficiency and product quality as well.
To sum it all up, when manufacturers are selecting injection molding robots for purchase, they need to consider the workload and the tasks that they expect these robots to perform.