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Sepro introduces pick-and-place robots

By: Bill Bregar

April 4, 2012

ORLANDO, FLA. (April 4, 7:15 a.m. ET) — Sepro America LLC (Booth 348) continues to grow in small- to mid-sized servo-driven beam robots, for use with injection presses of clamping forces from 700 and below, Jim Healy said at NPE2012.

Sepro America is subsidiary of French robot maker Sepro Robotique.

“We’ve always been strong at 1,000 tons and above,” Healy said. “We’ve really tied to focus on the smaller market, and we’ve been able to dramatically increase our market share.”

Healy said Sepro America now has 17 percent of the market for servo beam robots for presses under 700 tons.

The company is focusing on the smaller robots during NPE2012, and also is showing a new Visual 3 robot control.

Sepro America introduced the Success 22, the first in a new line of faster, stronger pick-and-place robots for mid-sized injection presses. Success robots follow the Sepro Axxess Series of economical three-axis servo robots. Axess robots now come in five sizes.

The Success 22 is designed for presses of 150-400 tons. It can handle a standard payload of 22 pounds, a 25 percent increase over the existing Axess 22, Sepro America said. Also, the 27.5 inch strip stroke is 8 percent longer than the maximum available on the current Axess unit.

Speeds on all axes have been increased by 20 percent or more.

Sepro America also is showing all three models of its S5 line of beam robots—including the new smallest size, the S5-15, which can handle a standard payload of 11 pounds. It is designed for molding machines of 30-180 tons. The S5-35, for presses of 350-800 ton presses, was introduced in 2009, while the S5-25, for machines fromo 120-450 tons, came out at the K2010 show in Germany.

In Orlando, the three S5 robots are grouped together. Two of the three robots, the S5-25 and S5-35, are demonstrating robot synchronization. Each one follows its own multi-axis paths. At a certain moment, both robots pick up opposite ends of a flexible ribbon and make a series of high-speed movements while maintaining a constant tension on the ribbon. In a plant, one robot can work with another robot on one of two molding machines.

The Visual 3 control has several advanced features, including the ability to manage multiple high-speed axes of motion, and a “flying start” function that anticipates the end of each molding cycle, and starts the robot moving into position before the mold opens. So the robot is already moving when the mold opens, which can save up to 10 percent on mold-open time, compared to robots without the flying start function.

The robot controller is linked to the injection press controller, so it can stop the robot movement if the mold fails to open.

At the Sepro America booth, the Visual 3 was running an SR 4050 robot, demonstrating an edge flaming operation on a car bumper.