The Model S5-15, the smallest unit in the advanced S5 Line of Cartesian beam robots from Sepro America, debuted at NPE 2012, April 1 – 5, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. Sepro exhibited in Booth 348.
Designed to automate plastics injection-molding machines with 30 to 180 tons of clamp, the S5-15 is the final model to be developed in Sepro’s 5th generation of high-performance robots for complex automation applications. The S5-35, designed for molding machines from 350 to 800 tons, was first introduced in 2009, while the S5-25, for molding machines from 120 to 450 tons, appeared at the K2010 show.
All three of the S5 robots are being shown at NPE, performing together in demonstration of Robot Synchronization. The S5-25 and S5-35 robots each follow their own multi-axis paths under the guidance of Sepro’s powerful Visual controls. At a certain moment, both robots pick up opposite ends of a flexible ribbon and then make a series of high-speed movements, synchronized via Ethernet, while maintaining a constant tension on the ribbon. This demonstrates a “mold-chasing” function that can reduce cycle times by up to 10%, how a robot can release a part precisely on a moving conveyor, or work with another robot on one or two molding machines.
Each of the S5 Line robots was developed with longer strokes and larger payload capacities than units of comparable size in the previous Generation 4 (G4) range. For instance, the standard 5-kg (11-lb) payload of the S5-15 represents an increase of more than 66% over the maximum available on the G4 unit, and the 500-mm (19.6-inch) demolding or strip stroke is 25% longer. This means S5-15 can handle parts with deeper draw.
A single-piece rigid frame structure, combined with prismatic linear guide rails and powerful servomotors, mean that this increased level of performance is achieved while maintaining the same level of speed on all axes. Maximum speed on the horizontal axis is 4 m/sec (13 ft/sec), 5 m/sec (16.5 ft/sec) on the vertical axis, and 3 m/sec (10 ft/sec) on the demolding stroke. Other important specifications include a 1500- to 4000-mm (60- to 157-inch) horizontal stroke and a 1000-mm (40-inch) vertical stroke.
“The S5-15 now completes the introduction Sepro’s 5th generation of high-performance robots,” reports Jim Healy, Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “These robots are among the most advanced available and they are perfect for multi-axis, multi-function parts manipulation inside or outside the mold space on small and mid-sized injection-molding machines. For similar applications on machines from 1000 to 5000 tons – a size range for which Sepro is well-known – we will continue to offer Generation 4 robots in four different sizes.”
Like all S5 robots, the new S5-15 is equipped with the Sepro Visual 2 controller as standard equipment. At its core is a high-speed PLC, featuring scan rates as fast at 100 milliseconds. A large, easy-to-read and -navigate 10-inch (254-mm) touch-sensitive LCD screen makes operation simple and intuitive, while giving users access to full system documentation. A joystick allows operators to actually steer the robot to fine-tune its movements. The large display screen and onboard memory makes it possible to consult all documentation and the user’s manual from the pendant at any time. If a fault occurs, troubleshooting data is displayed automatically and the notepad function allows information to be passed easily from one team or shift to another.
Sepro’s powerful, new Visual 3 control is available as an option. It is based on a PLC processor that is five times faster than its predecessor so it facilitates the most advanced automation including the ability to manage multiple high-speed axes of motion for stacking, insert positioning and loading, fabric overmolding, in-mold labeling, post-mold fixturing and finishing, and more.
Providing automation sales, engineering and service throughout the United States and Canada, Sepro America, LLC, is a wholly owned daughter company of Sepro Robotique, La Roche sur Yon, France. Sepro Robotique was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. It has had a substantial presence in North America since 1989. Today, the company exports 80% of its sales and enjoys a 25% market share in Europe. Sepro truly is a global player with operations not only in Europe and North America, but also in South America and Asia.