Wittmann refines robotics
By Barry Copping
Posted 19 November 2012
Wittmann cautions against overspecifying robots
Wittmann introduced two robots suitable for injection moulding applications at the Fakuma 2012 exhibition, both using the company’s R8.2 control protocol.
The W808 servo robot is designed for the shortest cycle times, typically found in smaller moulding machine applications at ratings up to about 150 tonnes. The W808 has a fixed kick-axis with a reach up to 600 mm. The horizontal axis is available in lengths of 1,250, 1,500 and 2,000mm, and the vertical axis in lengths of 600, 800 or 1,000 mm. The W808 can handle a maximum payload of 3kg.
Also new is the W822 robot which is vertically configured with rack and pinion actuation. The W822 handles payloads up to 15 kg with a stroke of 1,000 or 1,200mm and up to 12 kg with a stroke of 1,400 mm. The kick-axis reach is 780 mm and the horizontal traversing stroke is up to 4,000 mm.
Failsafe drive control
The W822 and all other robots using the R8.2 protocol feature DynamicDrive, a real-time drive control function. In background mode this monitors the load on each motion axis of the robot against a set limit and displays a warning should this be exceeded. In its activated mode DynamicDrive actively governs the acceleration and deceleration profile of each motion axis of the robot. The function is designed to protect the mechanical structure of the robot and its drive control gear, as well as optimising every movement of the robot for the application in hand.
Dispelling robotics myths
Barry Hill, managing director of Wittmann Battenfeld UK, tells PRW that several myths concerning robotics are fading away as the plastics processing industry becomes increasingly familiar with automation: “One myth is that five-, six- or even 13-axis robots are intrinsically better than linear (three-axis) configurations. Not so. The healthcare/cleanroom moulding sector seems to have initiated this myth some time ago. In fact over-specified five/six axis robots are often slower, less productive and less accurate than their linear counterparts. They do have their place for the right job – but they are often wrongly specified. They also cost a lot more.”
Hill concludes: Wittmann Battenfeld will hold another Open House in late April 2013 at its Kottingbrunn, Austria headquarters, including a couple of competence days for key customers with some press in attendance. If this is anything like the 2012 Open House there will be quite a raft of automation innovations – with more of course to be unveiled at the K2013 Exhibition.”
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