“Robatech and gluing”: topic developed with coherence

Davide Morten, head of Robatech Italia, illustrates the leitmotifs of Swiss multinational’s participation at interpack, which it considers the ideal venue for offering recent technologies and new ideas that make gluing a means for achieving safety, efficiency and productivity.

A longtime and closely involved participant in the “Robatech project”, Morten explains the motto “gluing with perfection” that has stood for the concern’s philosophy around the globe for some time now. «It’s a clear mission statement - he explains - because Robatech is committed to supplying its customers with a perfect gluing process, one that enables reducing wastage and optimizing production times, thereby saving energy and adhesive, and resulting in an impeccably packaged product. This is why Robatech is considered the ideal partner». The concern’s presence at the fair this year has been built around five leitmotifs: Local Service, Health & Safety, Green Efficiency, Industry 4.0 and Innovation.

Being there. «When it comes to local service - Morten explains - today we celebrate over seventy assistance centers worldwide: a global network made up of seventeen direct subsidiaries, and numerous agents and consolidated partners. Basically, wherever there is an industrialized country, Robatech is there, with technicians trained at our dedicated training centers in Switzerland, or the one recently opened in India. And it goes without saying that such infrastructure has a cost, but it also enables conferring added value to the products, which our customers recognize».

Safety goes hand in hand with efficiency. As for health & safety, this has always been a Robatech strength. «Operator safety is a priority shared by all, reflecting the spirit of propriety. Our installations and all their main components are designed in order to prevent accidental burns: safety components are on the glue filling tank, on the distribution manifolds (which are usually very exposed) and on the connectors between the tubes and the guns, avoiding the most common dangers. Robatech guns, from the slowest to the fastest models (including multi-mode ones) are all insulated». Of course the insulation is not only designed to guarantee operator safety «but also - Morten stresses - to enable greater energy efficiency, preventing heat dispersion».

Designing to save. Moving on to the next step, that of green efficiency, the manager has no doubts: «All our devices and all components are designed from their inception with the utmost attention to energy conservation. In other words, this means a prompt return on investment, at a lower cost. We have conducted comparative tests (repeatable any time) on certain competitor systems, and the Robatech installations performed better, enabling solid double-digit energy saving. The value of these economies is of course that much greater at scale: if we consider the amount of kilowatts consumed by a concern with just one gluing system, the difference can be as low as a few dozen euros a year, but for a multinational with hundreds of installations, the savings are remarkable». In both cases less energy is wasted, and nowadays that represents a valuable resource.

The (networked future) is already here. Morten indulges in a (gently) argumentative tone addressing the industry 4.0 leitmotiv of interpack 2017, which all agree is the blueprint for “the future” of manufacturing.
«For Robatech, that “future” has already long since become the present, because our technologies put an enormous quantity of information at the disposal of OEMs, with communication protocols that are now used by whoever talks about Industry 4.0. Our gluing installation is able to transmit to the main machine data on the number of opening and closing cycles of the guns, on glue and electricity consumption, on machine efficiency and availability, and tank glue level, and on upcoming scheduled maintenance procedures, as well as a complete log of all alarms and system events. In other words, we have anticipated and independently implemented data connectivity. Robatech is ready for real time communication using the most common high speed protocols like Sercos, Ethercat, Modbus, etc... Many major international OEMs have already been using them for some time to recover information from our installations and share them throughout their business network, extrapolating statistical data at any time and from any location. This is real networking. And then, if for any reason the main machine is not connected, our devices feature their own network circuit or even their own real time protocol circuit: using a new web browser-based control interface, we can connect to every single active glue applicator in the facility using its IP address to control its functioning from anywhere, even using a smartphone!».

Consolidating innovation. The interview would not have been complete without some mention of what new additions Robatech brings to interpack 2017, in particular «an expanded range of Concept Stream glue applicators with tankless technology, of which we are presenting the “M” version: a larger format but with a very compact tank, low energy consumption and a high melting capacity (up to +15 kg/hr) and heating in just minutes. We are focusing on advancing the Robafeed 3 automated loading system, which enables tank accessibility for manual filling, where automatic filling is unnecessary. With a very competitive price, the solution is completely integrated, since control can be executed entirely on the main machine The latest novelty - Morten concludes - is the long life version of the SX series electro-pneumatic guns, which can function for up to 200 million cycles».