Plastics Technology

SEP 2018

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LARGEST ROBOT IN NORTH AMERICA Ranger Automation Systems (rangerautomation.com) announced that is it is building "the largest robot in North America" to outfit a 6750-ton injection press being built by Milacron for 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics, Holiday City, Ohio. The molder selected Ranger to build a robot with payload capacity of 400 lb, 18-ft vertical travel, and 12-ft reach on each of two five-axis arms sharing a common beam. This Ranger model RT-6000-S10 will be able to extract parts up to 10-ft wide or tall, independently or in tandem, from either mold half and from stack molds. The giant robot will be an upsized version of the Ranger RT-3000 dual-arm robots running on 20/20's Uniloy Milacron structural-foam machines. Meanwhile, Star Automation (starautomation.com) brought several new developments to NPE. These included a three-axis servo head—wrist, rotate and flip axes—and a new 620 controller for the TW-VII series robots. As reported in July, the head and controller were used in a demonstration of the robot painting Japanese callig- Our April NPE preview, May Show Dailies, and July show high- lights reported on new robots and automation systems from Absolute Robot, Arburg, Boy Machines, Beck Automation, Campetella, CBW Automation, Engel, Fanuc America, KraussMaffei, Rethink Robotics, Sepro America, Staubli, Universal Robots, Wittmann Battenfeld and Yushin. But even more news emerged at the show. NEW AUTOMATION GROUP ASSEMBLED There's a new group of injection molding robotics companies set- ting up shop in the U.S.: Hahn Group, an automation-focused holding company based in Germany, is establishing Hahn Plastics Automation (hahn.group), consisting of one well-known name and two that are less familiar to U.S. processors. The first is Waldorf Technik of Germany, a specialist in side-entry robots for high-speed medical and packaging applications. Around 20% of its business is already in the U.S. Much newer to this market is Wemo of Sweden, which makes servo pickers and standard top- and side-entry linear robots for a broad range of injection molding applications. Third is GeKu of Germany, a maker of high-end custom automation (primarily top-entry) for auto- motive, electronics, and white goods. Brand-new to both Hahn Group and to the U.S. market, GeKu has long experience with major automotive tier suppliers for complex jobs like insert loading and vertical press automation. It also builds stand-alone automation for off-line testing of electronics. General manager of the new plastics automation group is Markus Klaus (recently of Wittmann Battenfeld). He is looking for a site in New England to locate a manufacturing facility for Waldorf and GeKu products (for now, the group is based at a Hahn Group plant in Hebron, Ky.). Klaus will hire 10 people in the next 18 months to supplement the two engineers from Waldorf and GeKu coming over from Germany to the U.S. By Matt Naitove Executive Editor GeKu of Germany, a maker of high-end custom automation for automotive, electronics, and white goods is the newest member of the Hahn Group (which includes Waldorf Technik and Wemo) and is also new to the U.S. market. NPE2018 REPORT Robots & Automation Tackle Increasing Complexity Exhibitors highlighted brute strength, complex automation cells, wireless networking, new controls features, and "collaborative" applications. Automated one-minute mold change was another attraction. New automation group has particular expertise in medical, packaging, automo- tive, appliances and electronics. 16 SEPTEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com N P E R E P O R T Close -Up On Technolog y

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