The Rodon Group recently added six of the latest Nissei servo-driven hydraulic injection molding machines to their manufacturing floor. These energy-efficient machines provide the combined advantages of both hydraulic and electric injection systems. They are designed to deliver better performance for both thin - and thick-walled applications.
Ten years ago, electric machines became popular, but they were highly mechanical with many more wear points. This often presented maintenance issues, which could lead to production downtime. When you have strict schedules in a 24/7 operation, downtime can cost money and may hurt client relationships. Nissei’s solution was to develop a hybrid machine. This machine includes a patented servo-driven pump technology. It provides the accuracy and repeatability of an electric machine, without the maintenance. And, they are as energy efficient as an all electric. According to Doug Wachter of Premier Plastic Systems, “Energy studies show that these new Nissei machines are 50% more efficient than similar machines without the patented technology.” The precise clamping tonnage gives set-up technicians better control and accuracy. They can be set to much finer tolerances without disturbing cycles.
Along with the addition of the new plastic injection presses, The Rodon Group invested in the latest servo-robot technology to provide value-added support to their manufacturing operation. Over the past decade, a great deal of change has taken place in manufacturing automation. Systems that were once used primarily to pick and place are now being used in quality control, advanced product packaging and cutting. Today’s machine controllers are more intuitive and user-friendly as well. Peter Gerzevitz of Star Automation says their clients can now do their own programming. “In the past you would need to call us or a professional programmer to make a change,” says Peter. “ Today’s controllers can be programmed on site by the client. This reduces downtime and costs.” The new servo-robots at Rodon not only have a second arm, but have an articulated head that can swivel, allowing the robot to pack tightly and at odd angles.
Tony Hofman, Facility Manager of The Rodon Group, continually evaluates Rodon’s manufacturing operation. “We are always looking for ways to improve our output. This new press technology molds faster and with greater accuracy. Speed and precision are the name of the game. The energy savings are the icing on the cake.” In terms of robotics, Hofman has a goal in mind. “We look for robotic technology that can speed production and provide more downstream versatility. We see robots on the floor, performing quality checks, packaging and doing some light assembly tasks. The more options we have the better.”
These new, larger machines are replacing older smaller ones. The new machines can handle molds with up to 72 cavities and will be equipped with beam style, multiple-axis robots. The robotic automation, combined with the speed and accuracy of the Nissei machines, will greatly increase the overall production capacity within the plant.
This $1 million plus dollar investment illustrates The Rodon Group’s commitment to providing the highest quality precision molding, faster and more economically. Lowell Allen, Senior Vice President of Manufacturing says “Over the past 15 years, our business has changed. The work we do has evolved and we are replacing older machines with new IMMs (Injection Molding Machines). These machines are hybrids and have the same efficiency as all-electric machines. In fact, we are doing a study to see how much more efficient they are in comparison to hydraulic machines.”
Allen goes on to say “This investment in equipment is part of our long term strategy. We are increasing our efficiency and upgrading our peripheral equipment. We are replacing our grinders to reduce our decibel output in the plant. Our new robotic technology will allow us to pack and stack without additional labor. All of our manufacturing enhancements are done with the productivity of our workforce in mind. We are constantly improving… creating a safer, more efficient, manufacturing facility.”
You can find more information about Nissei injection molding machines and their capabilities at www.premierplasticsnj.com. Information about the servo-robot technology can be found at www.starautomation.com. For more information about how The Rodon Group can assist you with your next project visit our RFQ page.