Sumitomo (SHI) Demag expands own-brand robot range

Designed specifically for injection moulding machines, at K 2022 Sumitomo (SHI) Demag will reveal how it is accelerating its in-house automation platform, showcasing numerous concepts, including a new 6-axis system with special kinematics. All designed to cater to a variety of different plastics processing environments and customer-specific requirements.

Intensely focused on the functional robotic requirements of specific customer and industry groups, Automation Business Development Director Jürgen Schulze explains how the company continues to analyse customer requirements and drive forward its in-house development of cost effective production solutions. “Current and future customer requirements take centre stage in every aspect of our technology developments. The result is a portfolio of innovative new robotic and automation systems aligned to the company’s machine developments. All realised in collaboration with highly-competent and longstanding technology partners.”

Defining the company’s three pillar automation strategy, Schulze confirms that ‘Easy Automation’ - the easy to operate standardised production solution in a compact production footprint - remains the focus. ‘Customised Automation’ is delineated as robotics for complex and more product-specific applications. While ‘Industry Solutions’ blends automation concepts developed specifically for higher speed packaging and medical applications.

Three SAM concepts will be on display at the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag booth at K 2022 (Hall 15, D12).


Premiere of SAM-S


Showcasing ‘Easy Automation’ is the SAM-C robot integrated into an IntElect 75 ton machine, manufacturing a DEHNguard ACI electronics application.

Two further exhibits really highlight the company’s ‘Customised Automation’ competence. The IMD Wallbox exhibit features a 5-axis linear robot SD 22x on an IntElect 220, underlining the successful and long-standing partnership Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has with Sepro. The biggest attraction at this year’s booth, however, is anticipated to be the inaugural global presentation of the company’s new self-developed 6-axis robot that uses Sumitomo drive technology. The unveiling will take place on the company’s prominent LSR exhibit, featuring the production of an LSR SMARTcap on an IntElect 180. 

SAM-S (Scara) builds upon the SAM-C (Cartesian) in-house range launched by the company in 2021, and once again redefines the firm’s robotics competence and future-orientated automation possibilities, claims the expert. 

The new SAM-S is a 6-axis hybrid robot comprising Scara mechanics and linear robots. With two payload sizes (12kg and 25kg) currently planned, the SAM-S series is suitable for applications where a linear robot is considered too inflexible, yet industrial robots too complex for operators. Currently dimensioned for injection moulding machines with clamping force ranges from 130 to 1,000 tons, the basic robot comprises five servo axes, with an optional extension to a sixth axis.


Large work envelope


The SAM-S being exhibited on the LSR application showcases it three most important features - a large work envelope thanks to its special kinematics, its integrated operation, and special design featuring Sumitomo drive technology. Schulze expands: “The control and operating philosophy for the SAM-C series was also derived from these developments, ensuring full integration into the injection moulding machine. Another special feature of SAM-S is the use of Sumitomo robot gearboxes. Their high precision is especially beneficial for hybrid kinematics."

The result is a unique design underpinned by the company’s robotics competence and rounded off by its in-house drive technology.

This showcase also introduces a peripheral control device - SAMControl. Allowing for easy integration of multiple process steps. The control concept utilises the same injection moulding machine and robotics hardware and software, so everything, even remote maintenance via "myConnect" and additional processing stages, can be integrated. As an example, the LSR showcase comprises conveying, testing and even total integration of a SAMSign laser marking system.

For component traceability, a "cold" DMC marking is applied to the LSR components using the latest laser technology. "With this system technology we form a seamless production process, including removal, separation, testing, marking and sorting. The overall system is characterised by its compact footprint, good plant accessibility and simple robot operation," explains Schulze.

Underpinning this seamless process is Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s "one-stop shopping" concept, whereby every technology and support service can be supplied from a single source. Schulze affirms: “We offer high-quality and adaptive robot technology with our injection moulding machines as standardised solutions at an attractive price/performance ratio, including CE conformity."

Further modules within the SAM automation platform are planned, although priority is being given to further developing the SAM-C and SAM-S series.


Official sales launch of SAM-C series


Having unveiled SAM-C last year, K 2022 marks the official sales launch of the series designed for simple handling tasks. To demonstrate the capabilities of this robot series, specifically the ‘Easy Automation’ "handle&place" SAM-C3, ONI (Hall 10, Stand F45) will showcase on an IntElect 75 the manufacturing of a traditional beer glass made from PC using a single tool.

“handle&box”  is the company’s next phase of development for standardised automation solutions. Featured at the main Sumitomo (SHI) Demag booth is an IntElect75 with a SAM-C5, including a storage and conveyor system, also developed in-house. Manufacturing components for a DEHNguard ACI surge interrupter on a four-cavity tool, in keeping with the company’s Act! Sustainably principles, all of the components made over the duration of the trade fair will sent to the customer for use in production.

Both SAM-C exhibits exemplify the compactness, low system height and uniform operation that can be attained, notes Schulze.

Outlining another useful feature of the “handle&box” concept, Schulze details that the tool-dependent buffer system is available with or without optional robot removal. Referencing the conveyor belt technology, also designed in-house for standardised industrial containers (KLT small load carriers), Schulze reaffirms that  “handle&box” solutions of this nature are  especially  suitable for injection moulding machines within the 75 to 280 ton clamp force range. “Making it an appealing automation concept that meets the needs of a number of customers,” says the Automation BD Director.