THE SHORT STORY
The newly established company has modern electrical and hydraulic injection molding machines capable of producing a closing force of 110 to 220 tons. For this purpose, the company has a fully implemented production and quality management system, according to the ISO 9001:2015 standard. The resulting product is then a precision plastic part that does not need further processing and can be shipped to the customers, mostly automakers. The company had difficulty staffing the task of tending the injection molding machine and instead deployed a UR10 for the job. The cobot now handles the entire cycle, delivering optimized production while also solving the labor shortage issue.
Like many other countries, the Czech Republic is seeing a shrinking labor pool in the manufacturing sector, presenting a challenge for companies like 2K Trend.
“There is a big shortage of skilled employees on the market, which limits the dynamic development of the whole company,” says Jiří Koláček, CEO of 2K Trend, a.s.
His company needed to automate part of its production processes in order to reduce the human resources needed. Another challenge was stabilizing the manufacturing process and increase productivity. At the same time, employees also needed to maintain access to the pressing machine. Looking at these different criteria, a collaborative robot became the clear choice for 2K Trend.
The company selected a system integrator of collaborative robots able to offer a complete solution of automation. Today, the collaborative robot UR10 from Universal Robots is in operation, securing complete operation of the injection molding machine.
The UR10 collaborative robot takes the plastic pellets and puts them in the mold to begin an injection molding cycle. At the end of the cycle, the cobot removes the finished moldings, which are then unloaded onto the conveyor belt. This is a monotonous activity that requires great precision in handling finished plastic moldings. Due to the size of the machine, it is also necessary to overcome the relatively large height distance from the press to the conveyor belt.
Employees of 2K Trend, a.s. now do not have to perform complicated and monotonous work on the press machine, i.e. inserting and removing moldings. The press machine is relatively large and its movement is complicated due to its construction. The UR10 cobot can handle the whole machine practically independently, so it is not necessary to fill this position with human workers. The advantage is also a large operating range of the UR10 arm, which operates the entire machine very efficiently.
The robot maintenance is virtually zero. In addition to the regular visual inspection of the final moldings and mechanical components of the robot, there is no need to interfere with its operation. The UR10 has been working reliably at 2K Trend for over a year now, and has never had any unexpected problems. “The acquisition of a collaborative robot has proven to be a step in the right direction and its operation in the company has met all expectations,” says Jiří Koláček, CEO of 2K Trend, a.s.
Reynolds’ advanced technology, expertise and engineering capabilities make any application possible.
Contact Reynolds Group today.