Erowa Synced robot delivers heavy loads

Author / Editor: Urs Canonica / Barbara Schulz

Switzerland - Handling heavy components, delicate parts and long axis movements are just some of the challenges modern machining centres have to deal with. At the same time, systems have to be productive around the clock.

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The manufacturing cell consists of a Makino D500 milling centre and an Erowa Robot Dynamic XT with a loading station and workpiece magazines.
The manufacturing cell consists of a Makino D500 milling centre and an Erowa Robot Dynamic XT with a loading station and workpiece magazines.
(Source: Erowa)

Established as a general toolmaking firm in 1955, Fostag Formenbau has been based in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland since 1961; today its production plant extends across 3,600 m².

Fostag is now among the world’s leading manufacturers of high-performance injection moulds. The most important customer segments are medical, pharmaceutical and laboratory closures and (thin-wall) packaging. The mould inserts, mould fixtures and electrodes are all produced in-house.

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Thomas Wieland, the head of production has been on the staff since 1999. In late 2013, his machine park was extended by a Makino D500. This large-scale 5-axis machining centre is loaded by an Erowa Robot Dynamic XT and controlled by the Erowa JMS pro Process Control System.

Robot and machine centre in sync

Particularly demanding for the new set-up are weight transfers of up to 200 kilograms, while simultaneously handling delicate and difficult parts and using a long telescopic robot arm. The system has to be productive for 6,500 hours a year – more than 17 hours a day. At the same time, it has to work autonomously for 70% of the time for unstaffed shifts to be possible.

Machine and robot have to be perfectly in sync with each other. Alois Bättig, sales manager Switzerland at Erowa: “The very large telescopic movement in the X-direction, was one of the first of its kind with the Robot Dynamic. This is one of the reasons why this is a reference project for us.”

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