Champion investment put the lid on productivity
By PRW Staff
Posted 17 September 2012
Bury-based Champion Mouldings has increased lid moulding output by 30% with help from Hi-Tech Automation, which designed a high-efficiency production cell featuring a Fanuc six-axis robot.
Working closely with the tool designer, the orientation of the mould cavities was changed to allow a side unloader to minimise its movements while the tool was open. When the tool is open, the side unloader places labels into the fixed tool-plate by momentarily applying a static charge. The side unloader then moves to mouldings, vacuum grips them and removes them from the tool.
The gripper plate of the unloader rotates through 180˚ allowing the Fanuc M-10iA robot to vacuum-grip the mouldings and place them onto a conveyor. The robot then collects eight labels from a dispenser cassette and transfers these to the unloader ready to repeat the sequence.
“I could have chosen a second-hand robot for £25,000 and be dealing with equipment that is unreliable,” said Andrew Mason, managing director of Champion. “[But] our business model is based around new, innovative machinery.
“You can’t take a high-risk strategy without the support and backup of someone like Hi-Tech. This is what led us to start working with the company – it has the facilities, the knowledge of handling components and the backup.
“We innovate for our customers,” Mason continued. “When we make a new lid we reinvent the lid – we change the tool design, we’ve lightened the weight and reduced the cycle time.”
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