Role of Automation in the Plastic Bottle Manufacturing Industry

injection blow molding machinery

In recent years, multiple industries have gone through significant changes. In particular, this applies to the plastic bottle manufacturing industry. The main reason has to do with increasing demand. Not only does this include processes but also injection blow molding machinery.

Enhancing plastic molding machines with automation yields incredible benefits. This helps to speed up the process, lower costs, and prevent downtime. Overall, that means you can make your business more competitive and, thereby, successful.

The Important Role of Robotics

Today’s injection blow molding machine manufacturers make products with far more capabilities. Specifically, that includes making it possible for them to integrate with cutting-edge technology. This leads to more efficient processes, accurate products, and improved safety for workers.

Robotics has become a critical part of growing the plastic bottle manufacturing industry. As a growing market itself, robotics is now more than a $649 million market. However, experts predict it will continue to grow annually at about a 44.5 percent rate.

More and more plastic processors depend on robotic automation. While that does include reducing labor, in times like the COVID-19 pandemic, it kept many companies afloat. However, this created some challenges. So, the goal is to now implement robotics for injection blow molding machinery but without putting people’s livelihoods at risk.

An Innovative Solution

The solution is collaborative robotic systems. For companies that utilize a plastic molding machine, this allows them to grow while maintaining talent. Along with increasing production, these systems help to make the operating process easier.

By reducing the handling of bottles made with injection blow molding machinery, collaborative robotic systems leave a smaller footprint while enhancing efficiencies.

Additional Benefits of Automation for Plastic Bottle Making Companies

Something else worth noting is that with higher speeds, automation increases both reach and payload capacity. So, companies can increase the cycle times of their plastic molding machines and still achieve greater throughput.

However, some challenges exist. For instance, the packaging cell used by conventional robotics requires more space. That means they’re not as flexible as comparable cobots. Also, the more advanced robotics require highly experienced programmers.

Fortunately, several companies developed models that have unique payload capacities. Overall, collaborative robotic systems outperform standard automation. Plug-and-play is a perfect example. Although marketed as stand-alone units, cobots have limitations specific to adaptation to plastic molding machines. That’s changing.

Another company with more than 20 years of robot technology experience predicts the cobot market will continue to grow. However, that requires more efficient systems that work with products made by leading injection blow molding machine manufacturers.

Their focus is to develop cobot work cells that provide a safe and clean working environment for the packaging industry. With the changes made, cobots will provide tremendous benefits. Some of these include:

  • Easier programming.
  • Smaller unit footprint.
  • Adjustability for a unit’s force and resistance level.
  • Relatively easy changeover.

Devising Solutions that Work

For industries that rely on plastic molding machines, it’s up to skilled automation integrators to develop automatic production cells. With that, well-presented plastic bottles, as well as tooling design, will work more efficiently. These machines will have the ability to perform several tasks as part of packing and palletizing plastic bottles.

There’s something else worth pointing out. The equipment made by leading injection blow molding machine manufacturers will deliver higher output, thanks to robotic automation. It involves integrating the right packaging module.

Here’s a perfect example of how this works. One company has a packaging module that includes a six-axis collaborative robotic arm. It also supplies an in-feed conveyor, as well as a box conveyor. When mounted in a common subframe and set up properly, it can fit between blow molding lines.

Below are some of the benefits of this for plastic molding machines:

  • Mobile cell with both interlock and safety door.
  • An integrated collating table that’s perfect for staging bottles.
  • Integrates with a high-tech cobot.
  • An integrated mechanism for automatic container inverting.
  • Simple operator interface.

What It All Means

To keep up with the growing demand on the plastic bottle manufacturing industry, automation is critical. Modern plastic molding machines can integrate with robotic systems to streamline processes while yielding more accurate results.

Automation speeds up processes but without impacting quality. It also keeps people employed while creating a more productive and safe work environment. It’s important to talk to a supplier who offers cutting-edge products from reputable injection blow molding machine manufacturers.

Companies can then compare different collaborative robotic systems and cobots available. That’ll help determine what’s best for the company. Keep in mind, the supplier you purchase plastic molding machines from can help with this.

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