SA Plastics

Automation from Wittmann - a winning solution

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PHOTO: View of the RenyMed automation system: Wittmann robots working on the RenyMed injection moulding machines at their plant in Baldwin Park, California, USA

RENYMED, with a production plant in Baldwin Park, California, is an industry leader in the moulding of specialty products for the medical market. Automation systems from the Wittmann Group fit their needs and helped them improve their process.

RenyMed’s facilities are impressive - their state-of-the-art facility in Baldwin Park, California, is certified ISO 13485. They have over 50 employees working on 17 injection moulding machines in a 1858m2 facility that includes a 372m2 cleanroom.

RenyMed prides itself on its capabilities. They are a fully integrated moulding shop, building moulds and then moulding the parts. Many of the jobs that they get are ones that were attempted at other moulding shops and failed. The need is to be flexible and adaptive, which means they also need production equipment that can move as quickly as they do. And that’s the point where the Wittmann Group comes in.

“We first became aware of the Wittmann Group at the K Show in Düsseldorf, Germany, where we saw an integration of one of the Wittmann robots on a Wittmann Battenfeld 40-ton injection moulding machine”, says Steve Raiken, RenyMed President. “Our engineers were impressed, and had a vision of using the robots to improve not just our process but our employee safety. We went for it and have been using their robots ever since.”

 

Flexible design with a vision for quality

Another major reason for the purchase of these robots was that it simply made the most sense with RenyMed’s space and the application they needed them for. Because of this, RenyMed has a necessary awareness of space use. They fit as much moulding power as they could into their cleanrooms, and they wanted a robot that would be equally space-conscious.

Wittmann’s robots were the only robots that RenyMed tested with a low enough ceiling height to execute a full stroke inside of their cleanroom.

“Witmmann Battenfeld was very helpful with solutions when we presented problems”, said Raiken. “They modified the robot to better fit in the room. We told them what we needed and where it needed to reach and they trimmed the rack and positioned it to fit perfectly. Today it’s running 24/7.”

RenyMed also worked with Wittmann Battenfeld to integrate vision into the robots. After connecting with a camera supplier to get the right operating system, they designed and built a custom end-of-arm tool for their robots to be able to pick the part out, take a photo when the robot has the part, allows the mould to close, and then takes two more photos on each end to inspect the part dimensionally and make sure it is a full compliant part. This quality control feature was custom designed and built and has performed as designed, with RenyMed moulding over a half million shots without a single complaint.

The Wittmann Battenfeld robots have allowed RenyMed to inspect 100% of their parts and have also resulted in other benefits that come with automation (repeatability, increased safety). This, plus the controls that allow for easy handling, has helped RenyMed move even more quickly with each changing project and continue to succeed at the “hard stuff” that keeps coming their way when it’s too much for everyone else.

Ipex to hose Open House in SA to launch Innovation Centre in August

IPEX, the South African representative for Wittmann Battenfeld, will host an Open House from 21-23 August to mark the opening of its new Innovation Centre. The Open House will be held at Ipex premises at 55 Trump Street, West Selby, Ext 4, Johannesburg, from 10am to 6pm each day. Presentations will be held at 11am and 3pm.

The presentation will include robotics and automation, cost per part, energy efficiency and application engineering, including Cellmould and Combimould.

“We will have an IMM 110 ton machine with a robot, loading and dosing equipment, as well as the full integration of all the auxiliaries into the HMI of the machine, using Wittman 4.0 software,” says Ipex’s Sean Kleingeld, Wittmann Battenfeld Product Manager. “We will also have a separate robot which will be there for training purposes for clients who want to send their operators for training,”

www.ipex.co.za