How is Automation Used in Injection Molding?

The phrase says, "To err is human." Errors in production, on the other hand, maybe quite expensive. Today, the plastic manufacturing industry is undergoing a significant automation trend that has not only reduced the expenses associated with a human mistake but has also improved a variety of other labor and energy-related operations.

Processors may reduce their hands-on engagement in injection molding projects by using automated solutions. Robotics may increase corporate consistency, operational repeatability, product quality, and customer value, to name a few advantages.

How is Automation Used in Injection Molding

That's why many forward-thinking plastics companies have incorporated automation into their injection molding operations; by combining the skill sets of molders with technology, production runs are simplified, consumers are satisfied, and businesses' bottom lines increase significantly.

Let's take a closer look at why automation has become such a powerful force in the plastic injection mold makers: efficiency, dependability, affordability, and value.


Operator Intervention Isn't As Necessary As It Used To Be

Automation technology is often used in the injection molding industry to improve the productivity of both insert molding and overmolding operations. Molders will employ robots to transfer metal components into a molding machine before inserting and manually conducting secondary activities such as part cutting and packing.

Injection molders employ automated technology to extract molded parts or substrates from one machine and transfer them to another, advantageous in the overmolding process.

What are the advantages of this? While these may seem to be basic activities, manufacturers may save a significant amount of time and money by deploying robots to execute typically hands-on jobs and gain greater predictability, reproducibility, and consistency over thousands of cycles.

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Secondary Operations Applications

Secondary processes, such as component trimming, drilling, and clipping, rely heavily on automated equipment. Robotics are also utilized to assemble injection molding components for welding, bonding, and adhesive operations. Manufacturers often utilize automation to arrange items before sending them to consumers for further processing and packing.


Benefits Of Using Automation In Injection Molding 

Automation enables molders and operators to concentrate on tasks that only they are capable of. As a result, long runs of components no longer need workers to do repetitive, time-consuming operations. 

Instead, they leave everything to the robots and focus their resources and time on entirely manual operations, such as programming. This not only expedites the procedure and maximizes the efficiency of your personnel, but it also reduces the chance of human mistakes.

Improving the Production Quality

When automated technologies aid clear plastic mold injection, the parts, and products produced are often of superior quality. This has been well shown in tests comparing automated and human production. But did you know that the automation process may be extended to include quality control and production? 

You may even have a robotic QA process that inspects each component to ensure it's the right size, weight and doesn't have any unusual bumps or projections. Depending on your demands, you may be able to program this system to inspect other elements of your finished goods as well.

You can verify that every component is correct and fulfills all of your criteria by automating your quality control procedure. You also ensure the accuracy of your quality control data. When reviewing your total product or project, this might be beneficial.

More and more procedures will be possible to be automated as technology advances. While any new technology might be costly, the advantages of automation nearly always enable you to recover your investment rapidly.

Increases the efficiency 

Automation may assist boost overall efficiency and lower total costs even after components have been molded. Automation may be used immediately at the molding machine, allowing you to control components through post-mold activities and even final packing. 

There is no need to send components to and from warehouses for additional processing if the procedure can be done immediately at the press utilizing automation. Automation reduces mistakes and faults while limiting variables, allowing your firm to concentrate on completing activities rather than dealing with problems.

Cleaner Environment

Automated injection molding machines do not emit fumes like hand-operated machines. That's why automatic injection molders can often operate in more pleasant conditions than other types of molders.

Greater Accuracy

Automated injection molds tend to show superior patterns on their products, making them aesthetically appealing. They also produce products that are more uniform in strength and quality, which allows them to get to the consumer faster.

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Is Automation Something You Should Consider?

When it comes to automation, what should you look for? Begin with your current workforce. If hiring experienced operators, process engineers, or maintenance specialists is difficult, automation may undoubtedly help you improve overall efficiency and quality. Automation is nearly always quicker and takes up less space on the floor than a human procedure. 

On the other hand, automation systems do not need breaks and may provide a level of consistency that human operations cannot. The increased uniformity in cycle time not only enhances product quality but may also assist you in determining more accurate operating costs and output. When competing against other molders, automation may help you become more successful.

It's also a good idea to think about the things you're making. Automation is a requirement if you're dealing with items with delicate surface characteristics, are made of softer materials, or have essential dimensions that must be maintained throughout the molding process

Any uncontrolled contact with people has the potential to harm or degrade a component. Because many medical and high-end electronic components are especially vulnerable to contamination due to human contact, automation is virtually a need if you deal with goods in those industries.


Conclusion

If the mold is not positioned correctly, the robot's position points may need to be retaught, and changes may be necessary for effective functioning. Because this procedure may be time-consuming and expensive, it's best to avoid it wherever possible. 

However, a robot with a servo-wrist option can surely assist with this. A robot with a servo-driven wrist should be considered for any cell because of its increased mobility and adjustability.

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