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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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All electric route keeps medical device moulder clean
Article Type: Mini features From: Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Volume 37, Issue 1
Technical injection moulding specialist, Sovrin Plastics, has equipped its latest dedicated moulding facility with electric moulding machines each fitted with an electric robot arm. Five FANUC ROBOSHOT moulding machines, each equipped with a six axes FANUC Robotics M6iB robot, help to maintain a clean room standard of Class 7 (Class 10,000) (Figure 4).
Sovrin Plastics has earned a reputation in the industry for its ability to turn technically challenging customer projects round quickly from concept through to manufacture and the new facility was no exception. Set-up to meet the needs of a customer to produce high volumes of a drug delivery device, Sovrin drove the new facility project through from concept to manufacture and validation in less than six months.
The machines are currently dedicated to the manufacture of one product comprising five moulded components. Each FANUC ROBOSHOT moulds a different component which is removed from the mould tool by the FANUC robot mounted on the top of each machine. Mouldings are placed onto an indexing conveyor, allowing them to cool, which then transports them to a vibratory feeder. Correctly, orientated parts then converge at a dedicated Mikron assembly machine where the device is finish assembled.
The FANUC ROBOSHOT machines, although inherently cleaner than hydraulic machines, have the barrel end positioned out of the clean room to reduce heat and unavoidable material ingress. Robots are mounted on the top of the platen and remove mouldings from the top of the machine, reducing contamination risks.
Operating 24 h a day, five-and-a half days a week, the system has proved to be absolutely reliable as have the other 15 FANUC ROBOSHOT machines, some of which are equipped with robots at Sovrin Plastics. Now with 52 moulding machines, 22 of them all-electric, with a further two on order – 25 in Clean rooms – Sovrin Plastics has a significant capacity to flexibly react to the technical demands of its customers in both medical and non-medical sectors.
Richard BlossAssociate Editor, Industrial Robot