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Fast injection molding automation boosts efficient series production

With innovative ideas and sophisticated automation, VWH GmbH realises economical and fast plastic injection moulding.

Modular construction is becoming more and more popular. Articles are used several times and a complete traceability of the parts (catchword industry 4.0) is demanded. At the same time, injection moulding automation is becoming increasingly important and is spreading rapidly. As a competent partner of the plastics processing industry, VWH GmbH enables profitable and high-performance automation solutions for plastic injection moulding.

Due to the increasing standardization of components in industry, the number of individual components is increasing. This increase makes the reduction of cycle times essential. The "normal" cycle times in injection moulding are often more than ten seconds, even for small components. The demand for injection moulding automation of total cycle times (injection and removal of components) of less than five seconds is constantly increasing. An ever narrower time window is also required for the opening times of an injection mold for removing components. High demands are placed on precision, because handling must move precisely into the injection mold and grip the articles in a position-oriented and gentle manner. This is done in close and automated coordination with the ejector unit of the injection moulding machine.

In principle, the injection moulding machine sets the cycle for every injection moulding automation. All other trades follow this cycle, because a continuous injection process is the basis for constant and high quality.

With individual engineering solutions and tailor-made services, VWH GmbH positions itself as a competent partner for every industry. In a current order from a customer in the automotive industry, the company develops and implements rapid injection moulding automation. The focus in this customer order is on one hundred percent control of the injected parts as well as very high quantities and the associated rapid cycle times.

A fully electric horizontal injection moulding machine is used to achieve the total cycle time of approx. four seconds. This machine is provided by the customer. The time to remove the components from the first fourfold and later eightfold injection mould is specified by the customer in less than two seconds. In order to implement this specification, VWH GmbH defines a suitable handling system. The commissioning and final fine tuning of the injection moulding automation takes place first in the assembly halls of the machine manufacturer before the machine is moved to the customer.

Whether robot system or electric axis, each system must be used according to its advantages and the individual requirements. The factors for selecting the right system are, for example, component size, machine type or plastic used.

In this application, the handling system is selected on the basis of a double 3-axis positioning system with a fourfold or later eightfold gripper. The system has the advantage that while one axis system fetches the finished injection-moulded parts from the injection mould, the other axis system can check and deposit parts that have already been removed. Since only IO parts may be fed into the further assembly and testing process. NIO parts are automatically ejected in the system.

VWH GmbH installs one camera system per gripper for the 100% inspection of the finished injection-moulded components. Lighting units, which are integrated directly into the individual grippers, ensure the correct lighting. After the inspection, the data is written into a database so that complete documentation of the components is guaranteed.

The IO parts are placed on a previously fed shaft and then fed to further assembly and testing processes. These are also developed and implemented by VWH GmbH.

Thus the customer receives a contact person for the entire automation, from the injection process to packaging. The operation of the entire plant is simplified because the structure and design of the user interfaces are the same.

As a general contractor, VWH GmbH offers a broad pool of expertise that includes the development of initial designs, the production process and packaging management. Customers benefit from the comprehensive support provided by a single contact partner for all trades. Well-founded experience in the fields of automation, molding and engineering as well as manufacturer independence from purchased parts form the basis for innovative and tailor-made solutions implemented by VWH GmbH.