April, 30, 2018 - One of the first Sepro robots ever built outside of France will be a highlight of Sepro America’s display at NPE 2018. This 5-axis 7X-45 robot adds the precision of a 2-axis Stäubli CNC wrist to the flexibility of a large, 3-axis Sepro Cartesian beam robot. It is ideal for handling technically demanding parts at high production speeds on plastics injection-molding machines of up to 1300 tons.
Sepro expects to have a total of 16 robots at the show: 6 in its own booth (W8571 in Hall E) and the remainder operating on the stands of injection-molding machine manufacturers.
The big 7X-45 will be operating at the front of the Sepro booth, so it will be hard to miss as it manipulates an automobile fascia in five axes. Elsewhere in the booth, robots of similar size and design, but with significantly different capabilities, can be seen side-by-side. For instance, two 6-axis articulated-arm robots – a 6X-90L from the Sepro Stäubli range, and a 6X-170 from the Sepro Yaskawa family – will be shown together in a choreographed performance handling car headlight components. Similarly, a 5X-25 from Sepro’s technological line of 5-axis Cartesian units, and a Success 22, representing that line of economical robots for simple pick-and-place applications, will be operating together. Finally, the same sort of comparison can be in a demonstration involving a Success 5, the smallest of Sepro beam robots, and an S5 Picker, a 3-axis, all-servo sprue picker.
Integration, Optimization and Automation
A special section of the Sepro booth at NPE 2018 will be dedicated to the Open 4.0 philosophy, which stands behind the company’s vision for the ‘Factory of the Future.’ There, visitors can get hands-on experience with the Visual control platform. Among other things, this easy-to-use robot control, which was developed by Sepro especially for injection molding, makes it possible to achieve several different levels of integration with IMM controls. Attendees can also preview new control developments like OptiCycle, a control plug-in (developed in open collaboration with a key customer) that automates robot cycle optimization, and Live Support, an app that links customers and their robots with troubleshooting assistance. Both are intended to function with the Sepro Visual control platform on new and existing robots.
Visitors will also be able to find a video presentation of automated molding cells that are typical of “Solution by Sepro” projects. These often involve multiple robots and specialized end-of-arm tooling (EOAT), plus a variety of feeders (bowl, drawer or manual), inspection devices, cavity separation, degating/trimming, box filling and other equipment – all customized to suit specific manufacturing objectives.
Elsewhere in the Show
Sepro will be represented in the booths of injection-molding machine manufacturers, with ten additional robots operating at NPE 2018. Specifically:
- Haitian, W143
- Sumitomo Demag, W3405
- Toshiba, W1263/1363
- Maruka Toyo, W911
- Billion, S11103
· …and others.
Growing in North America
The 7X-45 robot being shown at NPE is among the first of 40 robots that Sepro America is planning to build this year at its plant in Warrendale, PA, says Jim Healy, Vice President, Sales & Marketing. Robots assembled in U.S. may also be delivered to Canada and Mexico, as Sepro America becomes a manufacturing, engineering and service hub for the three North American nations.
A recently completed expansion of the Warrendale facility, which doubled its size while adding new engineering and large-robot assembly capacity, is part of a larger €11 million global transformation announced last summer by Sepro Group (La Roche sur Yon, France), Sepro America’s corporate parent. That larger effort includes not only the Warrendale expansion, but a major expansion of Sepro Group’s manufacturing and global training facilities in France.
Healy says that the Warrendale plant will concentrate on building three of Sepro’s largest robot lines: 3-axis Strong universal robots, technological 3-axis S7 Line robots, and premium 5-axis 7X Line robots. The new robot production in Warrendale increases the company’s global robot assembly capacity, complementing assembly capacity in France, and will optimize large-robot deliveries in Sepro’s fastest growing global market: North America.