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FANUC’s 450 ton all-electric IMM comes to Europe

FANUC Europe will exhibit several all-electric ROBOSHOT injection moulding machines (IMM) during Fakuma 2018 – in hall B3, on stand B3-3211. One of the main highlights is the new α-S450iA. Latest machine developments led to the 4500kN clamping force IMM the market has been expecting for years. Furthermore, a production cell, incorporating a 100-ton ROBOSHOT, will produce technical parts in engineering grade plastics under “Variotherm” mould process. The system literally works hand-in-hand with a six-axis FANUC LR Mate robot and a CR-7iA robot for parts assembly and handling. ROBOSHOT machines fulfil strict user requirements aimed at low energy consumption and flawless injection moulding quality, combined with stable repeatability and maximum process security. In the so-called IOT corner FANUC and TIG demonstrate Euromap 77 for plastics processing according to industry 4.0. Last, but not least, ROBONANO builds a bridge between injection moulding and mould manufacturing: the 5-axis CNC machining centre excels in ultraprecision five-axis machining in freeform surfaces with 0.1 nanometre command resolution. This machine tool demonstrates automated, predictable and repeatable optical-quality finishing of high-accuracy mould inserts. 

ROBONANO α-NMiA demonstration

Of course, injection moulding experts will come to the FANUC booth to see the new 450-ton IMM”, admits Gianluca Tristo, FANUC’s ROBONANO expert, “however, I am sure that they will be also inspired by having their eyes on ROBONANO α-NMiA outstanding capabilities.” This new ultraprecision machine tool has been developed by FANUC specifically for five-axis diamond machining of freeform surfaces. This fits pretty well in the injection moulding industry since FANUC can now offer a quite extended line-up of products, particularly for the polymer-based process chain. As a matter of fact, FANUC ROBOSHOT customers can now use tools where high quality mould inserts prepared by ROBODRILL and fine-finished by ROBONANO are assembled to precise components wire-cut by ROBOCUT. To this specific industry, ROBONANO – with its 0.1 nanometre command resolution – offers a robust alternative to manual polishing of mould inserts. And of course, FANUC ROBOTS can also be exploited in order to automate processes even further. At the exhibition, ROBONANO α-NMiA will demonstrate real machining of a mould insert for the automotive industry, with a complex shape. Besides the demonstration, examples of different applications will be presented, such as surface texturing with holographic visual effects, finishing of high-precision optical-quality surfaces and processing of different materials, including mould steel.

ROBOSHOT α-S450iA finally in Europe

Its debut was celebrated in Japan last year following the introduction into the U.S. market on the Milacron booth during NPE Orlando – the all-electric FANUC ROBOSHOT α-S450iA, 4500 kN clamping force precision injection moulding machine will start its European market success from Fakuma 2018. Higher cavity numbers and bigger moulds require larger platen sizes and tie bar distances which demand a larger/stronger machine with higher clamping forces. Beyond automotive, the medical / pharmaceutical device markets and other precision parts branches want more precise and fast output. “That is how the market works”, agrees Wolfgang Haak, FANUC’s Product Manager ETS Europe Roboshot, “and FANUC was aware of that – deciding to develop a bigger machine based on the same performance and reliability as the other six models between 150 and 3000 kN clamping force. Now we have 4500kN clamping force, a tie bar distance of 920 mm by 920 mm, a clamping stroke of 900 mm, a 1300 mm by 1300 mm platen size and a maximum die height of 1000 mm. Four different screw sizes for the two basic injection units achieve high flexibility.” The α-S450iA on stand B3-3211 demonstrates the machine’s productivity potential: connection pieces for infusion components are produced using a 32-cavity medical device mould provided by KEBO/Switzerland. Complex geometries, as produced in very large quantities in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, require maximum precision – particularly pertaining to surface quality, contour accuracy, weight stability and reproducibility. State-of-the-art CNC technology in the ROBOSHOT provides a unique electric moulding solution. The machine is equipped with efficient energy recovery control function, reliable torque plasticise control – Precise Metering Control (PMC) 2&3 – as well as backflow monitor and highly efficient  AI mould / ejector protection. The results are high-end process performance and product quality.

Hand in Hand with robots

Using the example of a compact production cell, FANUC demonstrates a high-tech / high-batch production concept demanding clean machines, cleanroom environments and robotized activities, promoted today by e.g. the medical device and technical branches. Robotec PLASTICMATE and FANUC ROBOSHOT α-S100iA interact in a compact and flexible production cell. Demonstration of the integrated “Variotherm” function:  in-cycle mould temperature changes improve the mechanical properties of the parts. The controlled cavity surface temperature does not only maintain low viscosity up to complete and immaculate mould filling it also allows special surface effects.  Parts removal is carried out by a six-axis FANUC LR Mate robot combined with a linear axis. Subsequently, the top and bottom parts are deposited in a trace buffer before they are assembled automatically. The cooperation between the LR Mate robot and the collaborative CR-7iA robot ends at the delivery station where visitors can receive the finished parts.

Industry 4.0: FANUC ROBOSHOT LINKi & Euromap 77

In one section of stand B3-3211 – called IOT corner – FANUC shows the new Euromap 77 OPC UA interface in cooperation with the TIG “Authentig” MES system. Visitors can see real-time quality, machine and job status monitoring of all machines and the Robot cell in compliance with Industry 4.0 requirements. FANUC ROBOSHOT LINKi will be demonstrated.

Responsible for the content of this press release: FANUC Deutschland GmbH

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