Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH introduced its own robot series for handle-and-place applications.
The new SAM-C — think Sumitomo Demag, automation machine and Cartesian for the name — is debuting in four payload sizes of 3, 5, 10 and 20 kilograms.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has been using robot technology to automate its injection molding machines since the middle of the 1990s.
Until now, however, the company relied on external partners, including Sepro Group and its standard SDR Sepro robot.
Going forward, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is expanding its range of automation solutions with proprietary robots. Central components, such as the drives, are sourced from the Lafert Group, an Italy-based Sumitomo Drive Technologies subsidiary.
The change is in response to increased demand from the medical, health care, aerospace, automotive, electronics and packaging sectors for scalable systems with more automation, according to Jürgen Schulze, Sumitomo Demag's director of automation
"We studied the market requirements for two years before the actual product development was started. We have used the COVID-19 pandemic to use the freed-up resources here," Schulze said in an email.
The study indicated injection molding machine buyers want flexible standardized production solutions that need less intervention and maintenance while fitting inside small footprints.
Sumitomo (SHI) Demag plans to expand the platform in phases over the next two years by adding other robot kinematics and functions.
"In addition to the necessary assistance systems — remote maintenance, predictive maintenance and analytics — we see a need for robot mechanics that are more oriented towards the needs of flexible production, [such as] the integration to customer-specific intralogistics systems," Schulze said.
"Robotics, in a wide variety of forms, will find its way even more strongly," he said, looking at the long-term strategy. "The shortage of skilled workers and the desired variety of products will accelerate this even further."