To address the actual demand changes within a production molding operation, the IML robots and IML automation need a new methodology – Flexible, Modular, Universal.
Traditional IML automation is designed to meet the needs of a specific plastic part and its decorating requirements. Dedication of the system to a particular molding project has been standard practice in the industry, in part due to the high levels of engineering and complexity of IML systems.
The new methodology of Flexible, Modular, Universal addresses the challenge facing operations in meeting ROI requirements by fundamentally changing from customized / purpose-built systems into systems that can simply be applied across multiple product lines and different manufacturing cells.
StackTeck IML Robot for a Thinwall Application
StackTeck IML robots and IML systems are engineered to employ standardized frames with modular components to suit different applications. Systems no longer need to be dedicated to a particular application but are flexible to suit whatever market demand comes along. For example, standard IML robot frames can be moved across different molding machine models and tonnages, say from 300 ton to 600 ton. By changing only modules, IML robots convert easily from, for example, a 1×4 ice cream container to a 2×12 yogurt cup or 1×16 over cap lid. Flexibility is key, so when market demands change, the systems can easily be adapted with the changes, resulting in lower capital expenditures and faster lead times.
IML Automation: A Modular and Flexible Approach