Ensinger Precision Components Inc. is eyeing new investments in automation and specialized robots, following up on recent years' improvements to its equipment lineup.
The Putnam, Conn., injection molder wants to reduce manual labor and integrate its operations to improve cycle-time consistency, capacity and speed. To do this, the company plans to purchase two collaborative robots.
In the past couple of years, EPC has purchased several Wittmann Battenfeld electric presses with integrated Cartesian robots. The company hired an automation engineer in February and is training its technical personnel to support more automated equipment.
"Our plan is to invest in two collaborative robots (cobots) to perform machine-tending duties on CNC [computer numerically controlled] lathes and injection molding machines as well as complete some secondary processes," David Augello, an EPC business development and technical sales representative, said in a May 10 email. "This will also include fixturing to perform part/sprue separation and sorting."
The company is considering collaborative robots from four manufacturers: Universal, Kassow, ABB and Mitsubishi, he said.
EPC currently has 19 presses, including five Wittmann Battenfeld/robot combinations. "The Battenfeld [machines] are highly utilized but the associated Wittmann robots are not. As part of our plan, we are [studying] how to increase the utilization of the robots," Augello added.
The company employs 60. Its injection molding operations make up abut 80 percent of its total annual sales, which Augello estimated at $9.5 million; the rest involves spin casting of PEEK tubes and plastic part machining.
EPC processes high-performance materials such as polyetherimide, polyamide-imides and thermoplastic polyimide. It serves customers mainly in the automotive, aerospace, defense, industrial and life sciences markets.
EPC is a division of Ensinger Inc. of Washington, Pa.