NPE2018 Show Daily - Monday

NPE is truly ‘Breaking the Mold’ as a multifaceted experience, with activities, discoveries and opportunities to satisfy the needs of anyone who works in the plastics industry or has a need to know about plastics

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MONDAY N PE 2 018 M AY 7 TH Global Player in Robots Puts More of Its Chips on North America By Mahew H. Naitove Plascs Technology Sepro America has two main messages at NPE2018: One is the breadth of its capabiliঞes, both technologically and geo- graphically; and the other is its focused a•enঞon on the North American market. "We have worldwide capability," says Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group, based in France. He points out that the Group has 11 subsidiaries and 40 distributors and representaঞves in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. "But the North American market accounts for one-third of our total sales and is the most im- portant area for future growth." As a result, Renaudeau says, "We want to be more local, adding assembly capability for large robots at our newly ex- panded plant near Pi•sburgh." One of the very first "made in America" Sepro robots, and the first ever manufactured out- side of France, greets visitors at the entrance to Booth W8571. It's a five-axis model 7X-45—a three-axis Cartesian robot with a two-axis Stäubli servo wrist—large enough to serve injecঞon presses from around 770 to 1430 tons. Already sold to Wilbert Plasঞc Services, it's among the first of 40 big robots Sepro America is planning to build this year. These in- clude three-axis robots in the Strong line for basic pick-and- place applicaঞons and the higher-speed S7 line, as well as the five-axis 7X models. This move to local manufacturing is part of a plan to make Sepro America a North American regional hub, coordinaঞng strategy for the U.S., Canada and Mexico, with each having their own separate subsidiaries. And Renaudeau emphasizes that Sepro offers more than just robots to North American molders. "We also offer cell integraঞon, simple or complex. We have a strong, dedicated team in Pi•sburgh. Our 'Soluঞon by Sepro' program provides injecঞon molders with equipment, engineering experঞse and addiঞonal services to bring new levels of efficiency and quality to their process." Sepro's other message at the show is about technological breadth and depth. "We have the widest porolio in the robot market," states Renaudeau, "stretching from simple sprue pickers to robots for the largest machine you want to auto- mate. We can do everything from pick and place to complex palleঞzing. We have three- and five-axis Cartesian models and six-axis arঞculated robots from both Stäubli and Yaskawa Motoman." Six of these robots are performing acrobaঞcs at Sepro's booth and 10 more are working in molding cells around the show, at Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, Haiঞan, Billion, Toshiba, Maruka Toyo and others (some private-label arrangements are confidenঞal). Visitors to those other booths can see varying degrees of integraঞon of the robot with the molding machine, from sim- ple "mirroring" or emulaঞon of the robot screen on the injec- ঞon-machine controller to launching the robot's setup recipe along with the injecঞon-machine program for a given mold, directly from the injecঞon-press control. This integraঞon is a key element of Sepro's "Open 4.0" program, to which a special secঞon of its booth is dedicated. There, visitors can experi- ence how all of Sepro's robots, from three to six axes, share a single, uniform control interface (HMI): the Visual control plat- Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group, sees the biggest growth potenঞal for his company in North America. Five-axis model 7X-45 is one of the first large Sepro robots made in America. form. They can also explore two new retrofi•able "apps" for Visual controls—OpঞCycle for automaঞcally opঞmizing the robot cycle and Live Support for remote trou- bleshooঞng assistance. "We are focused on achieving even more OEM relaঞonships," states Renaudeau, "as part of our aim to be a major leader in North America." Renaudeau hints that the next evoluঞon of Sepro's control technology, to be called Visual 4.0, will debut later this year at the Fakuma 2018 show in Germany. It is being developed by Sepro together with the Roboঞcs Insঞtute at Carnegie Mellon University. If you want to know more, see what you can learn at Booth W8571. 17

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