Sepro features its First ‘made-in-America’ robot

Sepro America LLC plans to build 40 of its largest robots this year in the U.S

Sepro America LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of France-based Sepro Group, plans to build 40 of its largest robots products this year at its recently expanded plant in Warrendale, Pa.

One of the first Sepro robots ever built outside of France will be a highlight of Sepro America’s display at NPE2018.

The 5-axis 7X-45 robot adds the precision of a 2-axis Stäubli CNC wrist to the flexibility of a large, 3-axis Cartesian beam system. It is suited for handling technically demanding parts at high production speeds on up to 1,300-ton plastic injection molding machines.

Sepro’s 7X-45 robot featured in booth W8571 is the first of 40 robots that Sepro America is planning to build this year at its plant in Warrendale, PA, said Jim Healy, Vice President, Sales & Marketing.

A recently completed expansion of the Warrendale facility, which doubled in size and added new engineering and large-robot assembly capacity, is part of a larger €11 million global transformation announced last summer by Sepro Group (La Roche sur Yon, France), Sepro America’s corporate parent. That larger effort also includes a major expansion of Sepro Group’s manufacturing and global training facilities in France.

The big 7X-45 will be operating at the front of the Sepro booth manipulating an automobile fascia in five axes. Elsewhere in the booth, robots of similar size and design, but with significantly different capabilities, can be seen side-by-side in choreographed movements.

For instance, two 6-axis articulated-arm robots—a 6X-90L from the Sepro Stäubli range and a 6X-170 from the Sepro Yaskawa family—will perform a pas de deux as they handle car headlight components.

In similar fashion, a 5X-25 from Sepro’s technological line of 5-axis Cartesian units and a Success 22 economical robot for simple pick-and-place applications will be operating together, as will a Success 5, the smallest of Sepro beam robots, and an S5 3-axis, all-servo sprue picker.

Sepro expects to have a total of 17 robots at the show, seven in its own booth (W8571) and the remainder operating on the stands of injection-molding machine manufacturers, including Haitian (W143), Sumitomo Demag (W3405), Toshiba (W1263/1363), Maruka Toyo (W911), Billion (S11103) and others.

Visions of the factory of the future

A special section of the Sepro booth at NPE 2018 will be dedicated to the open 4.0 philosophy, which underlies the company’s vision for the factory of the future. NPE visitors will be able to get hands-on experience using a visual control platform.

The easy-to-use robot control, which was developed by Sepro specifically for injection molding, makes it possible to achieve several different levels of integration with injection molding machine controls.

Attendees can also preview new control developments like OptiCycle, a control plug-in (developed in open collaboration with a key customer) that automates robot cycle optimization, and Live Support, an app that links customers and their robots with troubleshooting assistance. Both are intended to function with the Sepro Visual control platform on new and existing robots.

Visitors will also be able to find a video presentation of automated molding cells that are typical of Solution by Sepro projects. These often involve multiple robots and specialized end-of-arm tooling, plus a variety of feeders, inspection devices and other equipment, all customized to suit speciion by Sepro program provides injection molders with equipment, engineering expertise and additional services needed to bring new levels of efficiency and quality to their process.

Healy noted that the Warrendale plant will concentrate on building three of Sepro’s largest robot lines: 3-axis Strong universal robots, technological 3-axis S7 line robots and premium 5-axis 7X line robots.

The new robot production in Warrendale increases the company’s global robot assembly capacity, complementing assembly capacity in France, and will optimize large-robot deliveries in North America, Sepro’s fastest growing global market.

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