2K CIC Machine

        Automation and robotics specialists at Aylesbury Automation have increased productivity and improved the quality in the assembly of CIC cartridges of two component chemical anchors for this UK company. The installation of the new equipment has given them the capacity required to meet the increasing demand for its products whilst eliminating the risk of repetitive strain injuries (RSI) and with the added bonus that valuable production floor space has been saved. 

       “We’ve been able to make significant reductions in the number of manual operations on this line whilst producing more product, at consistently high quality levels,” says Stewart Riley, Operations Manager. 

       2K polymers is based in Derbyshire, and has an on-going programme of automating its manufacturing processes to remain competitive in world markets from North America to Asia. This leading supplier of two-part chemical anchors and grouts for the private label products market requires extremely high quality manufacturing processes and controls. 

       Its production of polyester and epoxy, two part chemical anchors in the CIC packaging format, involves filling “capsules” containing the two chemical components in separate compartments which are then inserted into rigid cartridges. Each assembly consists of the cartridge, a capsule of chemicals, a piston, a label and usually with one or two detachable mixing nozzles and a cap.  This line caters for two sizes of cartridge, 300ml and 150ml. 

       Previously production of the product was extremely labour-intensive and repetitive. Aylesbury Automation was tasked with designing an automated process to assemble the cartridges which would reduce significantly the number of manual operations.  The final solution is two autonomous machines linked together and incorporating three DENSO robots supplied by Aylesbury Automation’s robot division, AA Robotics. 

       Using a walking beam transfer system the assembly operation is carried out in pairs. The cartridges are automatically fed from a storage hopper and loaded onto the walking beam for transfer to the capsule assembly station.  Here an operator loads a pair of capsules into the station where they are pulled through the cartridge.  Subsequently a piston is positioned into the cartridge and set so that it will not drop during transport to the end user. The first Denso Robot picks up and rotates the cartridges, loading them onto the transfer conveyor. 

       The cartridges are then labelled and transferred to an assembly station where the Denso Robots fit one or two mixing nozzles dependent on the customer’s requirements and finally the cap is screwed on, set to a required torque. The completed assembly is then conveyed to an operator for packing into cartons. 

       “By understanding what we do, Aylesbury Automation has been able to devise an automation solution for us which not only increases our output per man hour, maintaining our competitive position in World markets, but also raises our quality standards and enables us to keep up with demand.” says Stewart Riley.