Auxiliary equipment maker Wittmann KunststoffgerÃ¤te GmbH showed its first-ever Scara robot at Fakuma 2006 in Friedrichshafen, and introduced coded manifold couplings for a central materials-handling system that stops an operator from putting the wrong resin in an injection press.
At Fakuma, held Oct. 17-21 in Friedrichshafen, Wittmann continued its move into radio-frequency identification. In its material-handling demonstration, an RFID tag was embedded into the hose coupling and the proper manifold tube.
Wittmann's M7.2 network control system, which runs the central distribution system, will not let the material flow unless the correct connection is made. Wittmann, based in Vienna, Austria, has applied for a patent on this RFID application. The firm showed its first use of RFID earlier this year at NPE 2006, using it to identify the correct end-of-arm robotic tooling.
David Preusse, president of U.S. subsidiary Wittmann Inc. in Torrington, Conn., said simple mistakes can cause time-consuming, messy cleanups if the connections are not made correctly - especially if the resin goes through the processing machine. If that happens, the machine and the complete material-conveying line have to be cleaned out.
RFID is not affected by static charges, which can cause electrostatic interference in other systems. Another advantage is that RFID avoids wear, which is common on the frequent changes of connections on electro-mechanical components.
Scara robots are usually used to move one part from one spot to another quickly, by pivoting. Wittmann's new Scara, just as the firm's traditional robots, removes parts from the mold. The W7X5, which was on display at Fakuma, is designed to remove parts molded on small-tonnage injection presses, in short cycle times, such as cell phone covers or thin-wall packaging.
The four-axis robot combines the advantages of rotating horizontal axes with a parallel, end-of-arm tooling motion. The compact, speedy robot hits removal times of 0.2 second for 300-millimeter strokes.
In other news from Fakuma, Wittmann:
* Introduced a W721 UHS robot, which stands for ultrahigh speed, for removing parts from injection presses with up to 300 tons of clamping force. The robot, which can carry a load of 22 pounds, can move in and out in 0.3-0.5 second.
* Demonstrated in-mold labeling on an Arburg injection press fitted with a Wittmann W72H side-entry robot.
* Showed a small rotating-axes component, the Servo A/C-Axis, which allows for precise, fast movements.
* Introduced the eMax, which controls up to 12 vacuum loader stations, one central vacuum pump and one spare pump. Features include programmable automatic switch-over and control of bypass valves, filter cleaning and purging valves. The eMax can be upgraded easily, to the M7.2 central network controller to run up to 240 vacuum loaders, according to Wittmann.
* Showed the new DryMax ES-40, a smaller, lower-cost DryMax material dryer with one desiccant dryer. It has a dry air flow of 40 cubic meters, or 1,400 cubic feet, an hour.