At the K2022 trade fair, Sepro Group presented several examples of injection-molding automation, giving visitors hands-on experience with future technological concepts including novel man-machine interface devices, total-system integration and artificial intelligence.
Discover more how Sepro is reshaping the future of automation
At the recent K2022 trade show, Sepro Group showed four presentations that demonstrated the work the Company has been doing to meet critical needs of plastic injection molders. The demonstrations made use of new, innovative control technology – called Visual+ -- that governs not only Sepro robots but all the equipment that could be included an automated production cell, and which integrates seamlessly with IMMs, regardless of brand. Unique features of Visual+ include:
- Flexible platform, with modular software, that is customizable and easily deployable
- One central controller for multiple robots and peripherals
- A versatile human/machine interface (HMI)
- Use of artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify programming and operation
Smart Automation Systems
As a global turn-key solution provider, Sepro aims to offer the most integrated solutions on the market for the automation of injection molding and related operations. At K2022, Sepro introduced its new Visual+ centralized control software in a fully automated multi-step production process. An operating 110-ton Milacron IMM was used to produce toy sailboat components. It was supported by a Sepro 5X-15 Cartesian robot with servo-driven wrist, and a 6X-140.2 articulated-arm robot, which removed the parts from the mold and – in perfect synchronization – assembled to the finished product. Additional operations, also managed by the Visual+ through a single HMI, included assembly, inkjet printing, production-data collection, dimensional checks, tray packaging and piloting of an autonomous mobile robot (AMR).
SeproAI -- No-code programming
In recent years, the challenge of programming and operating robots has become even more difficult as employees with the necessary skills have become harder to find and retain. At K 2022, Sepro demonstrated a new artificial-intelligence (AI) solution that can calculate the best possible trajectory for achieving any of three objectives -- maximum energy saving, minimum wear or fastest cycle time… all without a single line of operator-written code. The energy-saving mode will allow up to a 25% reduction in power consumption on certain trajectories, while the minimum-wear mode reduces stress on system components prolonging their lifespan and reducing maintenance. Sepro is already working to expand the possibilities created by AI and no-code programming.
Choose your HMI
The control software that Sepro has been developing is hardware independent. Not only can a single HMI be used to govern operation of multiple robots and peripheral equipment but essentially any HMI can be used. To demonstrate this flexibility, and the potential for improving the user experience, Sepro gave visitors at K 2022 a chance to use well-known consumer digital devices to pilot a Sepro S5-15 Speed robot through a series of motions. HMI options included a smartphone, an Xbox controller, two Keba KeWheels, a gyroscopic pointer, and a pendant controller.
Visual & IMM Integration
For several years, Sepro has been integrating its Visual control with many different IMM brands to simplify robot set-up and operation. At K 2022, a molding cell built around a Sumitomo Demag IntElect2 130-ton molding machine demonstrated an integration concept known as “mirroring.” This allows the robot to be operated either from the robot-control pendant or from the machine HMI. Short-cut icons and keyboard functionality built into the IMM panel can be used for robot control. Set-up operations for the molding machines – like selecting or entering a mold or job code – automatically trigger related set-up actions in the robot control. These proven capabilities form the foundation for Sepro’s most recent developments, which are outlined below.
Learn more about the future of automation
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