The purpose of this paper is to review the National Plastics Exposition 2009, Plastics Show held in Chicago, IL, with emphasis on robots, end‐of‐arm‐tooling and their application in the plastics industry.
The approach takes the form of in‐depth interviews with suppliers of robots, injection molding machines, system integration of robots into plastic processing applications and suppliers of controls and end‐of‐arm‐tooling.
The plastic injection molding industry is moving to production cells with heavy usage of robot machine tending. The need for very short cycle times drives the interest in very fast agile robots with the ability to integrate easily into the production cell approach. New technologies such as in‐mold labeling also drive the need for suitable robots and competent system integrators to supply successful systems.
The paper shows that robot builders need to continue to develop specialized robots and tooling to match advancements in applications in the plastic industry. Users will need to think of robots as a necessary adjunct to any injection molding application.
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