Ledwell | Plastic Moulders Make Major Investment in Injection Moulding Machines & Robots

Jun 20, 2023


Ledwell | Plastic Moulders Make Major Investment in Injection Moulding Machines & Robots

To maintain our growth, offer clients more scope and improve production efficiencies plastic moulders are investing in new injection moulding machines and robots.

Benn Simms, Managing Director of Ledwell said, “We are a leading injection moulding company in the UK.  To maintain our position and offer clients the solutions they need, we are continually investing in new technologies”.

How Plastic Moulders are Improving Production Efficiency in Injection Moulding with Robotic Automation

In today’s fast-paced injection moulding industry, companies are constantly seeking ways to improve production efficiency and gain a competitive edge. With the advent of robotic automation, injection moulding companies can now streamline their operations, enhance product quality, and increase overall productivity. In this article, we will explore the various ways in which robots can and have improved the production efficiency of injection moulding, at Ledwell, along with the benefits they bring to the table.

The Rise of Robotics in Injection Moulding

The demand for more flexible solutions in the plastics industry has led to the extensive use of industrial robots in injection moulding operations. These robots can automate the entire injection moulding process, from loading plastic parts into the machine to placing the finished products onto a conveyor belt. By replacing human-operated injection moulding with robots, companies can ensure the consistent production of high-quality products that are accurately formed.

Advantages of Robotic Automation

The utilisation of robotics in injection moulding offers several advantages for manufacturers. Firstly, it provides them with a competitive advantage by increasing both productivity and the quality of the produced parts. Robots can work faster and more efficiently than humans, leading to higher output and reduced cycle times. Additionally, robots can perform highly repetitive tasks 24/7 without the need for breaks or rest, maximising the utilisation of injection moulding equipment and increasing overall efficiency.

Another significant advantage of robotic automation is the improvement in product quality. Robots can perform precise and repeatable tasks, ensuring consistent quality and reducing the risk of errors or defects. They can also handle parts in a controlled and consistent manner, reducing the risk of contamination and improving the overall quality of the final product. By incorporating robots into the injection moulding process, manufacturers can reduce waste, minimise the need for rework or scrap, and deliver products that meet the required specifications.

Application of Robotics in Injection Moulding

Robots have a wide range of applications in different stages of the injection moulding process. One common application is machine tending, where robots are used to unload finished parts from the injection moulding machine and deliver them to downstream processes such as packaging. By automating this task, manufacturers can improve product consistency, reduce the risk of injuries to labourers, and increase production capacity.

Another important application is insert moulding, which involves enclosing inserts such as pins or threaded rods in moulded plastic. Robots, such as SCARA robots, can add inserts to mouldings and load them into machines to continue the process. They can also work in collaboration with pick-and-place robots to complete the manufacturing process.

Automation can also be applied to over-moulding, where a moulded object is removed from one injection moulding machine and placed into another with the help of a robot. This automated process ensures a more efficient and accurate arrangement of parts, reducing labour and assembly expenses while ensuring the quality and integrity of the final product.

In-mould labelling is another popular application for automation in injection moulding. Robots can feed pre-printed labels or decorated film directly into the open plastic injection mould, ensuring precise and stable positioning of labels. This process enhances the visual appeal of the final product and eliminates the need for secondary processing or shipping parts to and from warehouses.

Post-processing tasks, such as inspection, testing, and trimming of plastic moulded parts, can also be automated using robots. Robotic trimming cells provide superior repeatability compared to manual trimming, resulting in higher precision, accuracy, and cycle times. Robots can minimise waste and improve production efficiency by reducing errors and defects.

The Future of Robotic Technology in Injection Moulding

The future of robotic technology in injection moulding looks promising, with ongoing advancements aimed at simplifying operations and maximising overall equipment effectiveness. Companies like Sepro Group are breaking new ground in the area of robot and automation control. Their work focuses on simplifying robot programming with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and creating highly integrated control systems that communicate with all equipment in a production cell.

Plastic moulders can overcome the technical complexities associated with robot programming by implementing “no-code” programming and AI-driven robot controllers. This enables easier retrofitting of code or hardware to evolving business and market needs, making robotic automation more accessible and user-friendly. As a result, even relatively new employees with limited training can set up basic moulding processes, further reducing the need for skilled technicians.

In conclusion, robotic automation offers immense potential for improving production efficiency in injection moulding. Manufacturers can increase productivity, enhance product quality, and reduce costs by utilising robots in various stages of the process. Robots’ flexibility, precision, and efficiency contribute to the overall competitiveness of injection moulding companies. As technology advances, the future of robotic automation in injection moulding looks promising, paving the way for further innovations and improvements in the industry.

 

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Ledwell | Plastic Moulders Make Major Investment in Injection Moulding Machines & Robots
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Ledwell | Plastic Moulders Make Major Investment in Injection Moulding Machines & Robots
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To maintain our growth, offer clients more scope and improve production efficiencies plastic moulders are investing in new injection moulding machines and robots. Benn Simms, Managing Director of Ledwell said, “We are a leading injection moulding company in the UK.  To maintain our position and offer clients the solutions they need, we are continually investing in new technologies”.
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Ledwell Plastics Ltd
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