“To err is human,” goes the saying. To err in manufacturing, however, can be very costly. Today, the plastic manufacturing sector is experiencing a rapidly expanding automation trend, which has not only mitigated the costs associated with human error but also improved a range of other components regarding labor and energy processes.
By implementing automation technologies in their injection molding projects, processors can minimize hands-on involvement. While this is perhaps the most obvious benefit, robotics can improve business consistency, operational repeatability, product quality, and consumer value. That’s why many forward-thinking plastics manufacturers have leveraged automation in their injection molding processes; by combining the skill sets of molders and technology, production runs are streamlined, customers are happy, and businesses can watch their bottom line improve exponentially.
Efficiency, reliability, affordability, value; let’s take a more detailed look at why automation has emerged as a vital force in the plastic injection molding sector.
Reducing the Need for Operator Intervention
In the injection molding sector, automation technology is often utilized to increase the efficiency of both insert molding and over-molding processes. Before manually performing secondary operations, such as part trimming and packaging, molders will use robotics to distribute metal components into a molding machine before the insert molding process.
Similarly beneficial in the over molding process, injection molders use automated technology to remove a molded part or substrate from the original machine and transfer it to another.
Why is this beneficial? While these may seem like simple tasks, by using robotics to perform traditionally hands-on tasks, manufacturers can save extensive time and resources and achieve a higher degree of predictability, repeatability, and consistency across thousands of cycles.
Applications to Secondary Operations
Automated technology also plays a significant role in secondary operations, such as part trimming, drilling, clipping. In the assembly of injection molding components, robotics is also used for welding, bonding, or adhesive processes. Manufacturers also use automation to organize products before later processing and packaging teams ship them to customers.
Benefits of Automation in Injection Molding
Robotics allow molders and operators to focus on things only they can do. Workers no longer have to handle the repetitive, time-consuming tasks employed by long runs of parts. Instead, they leave that up to the robots and devote their resources and time to singularly manual processes, such as programming. This not only speeds up the process and makes better use of your employees, but it also mitigates the risks associated with human error.
Enhancing the Quality of Production
When plastic injection molding is succored by automated technology, production runs typically yield higher quality parts and products. Test runs comparing automated manufacturing, and human manufacturing have made this abundantly clear. But did you know that you can actually extend the automation process to quality control check as well as production? You can actually have a robotic QA process that examines every piece to verify that it’s the correct size, has no odd lumps or projections, and has the correct weight. You may be able to program this system to examine other parts of your final products, too, depending on your needs.
By automating your quality check process, you’re able to ensure that every piece is accurate and meets all of your standards. You also guarantee that your quality control data is accurate. This can be helpful when evaluating your overall product or project.
As technology continues to evolve, more and more processes will be able to be automated. While any new technology can be expensive, the benefits of automation almost always allow you to recoup your costs very quickly.
How New Berlin Plastics Can Help You
With decades of experience in the injection molding industry, automation has become a leading contributor to the success of New Berlin Plastics. Using the latest automation technologies to enhance customer satisfaction and product value, New Berlin works with customers to develop and launch a project from an efficient, affordable, quality approach.
Because automation has emerged as a vital component to the success of molding projects, New Berlin’s Manufacturing Engineer works solely with automated robots to ensure that current and future projects are completed as efficiently as possible, with little to no errors.
Want to learn more about our automation process? Contact New Berlin Plastics today.