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Image: Robots at work in the Automated Lab of the Henkel Inspiration Center; Copyright: Henkel AG

Automated Lab: Robots optimise adhesive development

10/05/2023

Robots already take over a large number of monotonous, repetitive tasks today – freeing up time and resources for creative and more exciting tasks. Henkel is also automating work steps in its new Inspiration Center Düsseldorf (ICD). In a data-driven laboratory, new adhesive formulations are automatically prepared and tested around the clock.
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Image: Erlenmeyer flask filled with water polluted by microplastics in a laboratory; Copyright: microgen

First comparative study on automated analysis methods of large data sets in microplastics research

27/04/2023

The lack of standardized analytical procedures for microplastic data has led to significant deviations, especially for small particles with high hazard potential. Researchers from the University of Bayreuth and the Alfred Wegener Institute have compared two automated analysis procedures and called for standardization to improve the comparability of data.
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Image: interior of a logistics warehouse; Copyright: vanitjan

Parcel logistics: the future belongs to reusable plastic boxes

29/03/2023

Cardboard dominates parcel logistics. Shrinkage and return transport costs have so far been too big hurdles for reusable containers made of plastic, even though there is a lot to be said for them in terms of sustainability. BOOXit overcomes these hurdles – and adds one on top: the reusable system is not only sustainable, but also robot-compatible.
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Image: an injection molding machine producing an orange cup; Copyright: ssp48

Full speed ahead: Sumitomo (SHI) Demag expands fast-cycle all-electric platform

01/02/2023

Engineered specifically for high volume packaging, medical and automotive applications requiring the highest processing precision in the fastest cycle time, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag is accelerating its global expansion of the IntElect platform.
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Photo: woman picking a 3D printed object from the printer; Copyright: Cubicure

All tidied up: Customizable cleaning solution for light-based 3D printing

21/12/2022

As the saying goes, one cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs – in a metaphorical sense, this is also the case when it comes to the 3D printing process. In most cases, material residue must be removed manually and then discarded. Cubicure delivers a different way that's automated, customizable, and sustainable.
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Image: Electronic three-dimensional plastic 3D printer in a laboratory ; Copyright: StudioPeace

Powered-up plastics

08/12/2022

A research team from the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has succeeded inadditively manufacture sensors and other electronic devices in a single operation. As part of this research, the conductivity of thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) was tested to find out, for example, how best to incorporate electronic components.
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A true all-rounder: with two apprenticeships to become a turnkey expert

27/09/2022

Oliver Fuss has completed not one, but two apprenticeships at Arburg: first an apprenticeship as a mechatronics technician and then as a process mechanic for plastics and rubber technology. Now he works in the turnkey division, where fully automated manufacturing cells are designed and built.
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Digitization, automation, networking: "We have the whole wide bandwidth!"

09/08/2022

Twenty-year-old Yannick Herzog trained as an electronics technician for automation technology at Arburg and now works in the company's printed circuit board production. Since August 2021, he has been responsible for SPI and AOI for quality control of printed and assembled PCBs, respectively, in a production line. These are used in the control systems of the Arburg machines.
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Product development in Alpla's One-Stop Shop

02/08/2022

Those who work meticulously to design a product can hardly await the day they can hold the finished item in their hands. Alpla is a company headquartered in Hard, Austria, that speeds up this process. Customers can convert their ideas into reality and ideally leave Alpla's STUDIOa with a prototype in hand.
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Robot to go – igus develops innovative Cobot

12/07/2022

At the heart of any modern robot is a gearbox. Now imagine a robot with its "heart" made of plastic. It’s simply marvelous. But that’s not the only benefit users can expect from the new cobot (collaborative robot) by igus: the device is also lightweight, portable, and affordable.
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Image: Large fighter aircraft plant with multiple models; Copyright: saoirse2010

3D printing for automated pre-assembly of thermoplastic CFRP integral frames

01/07/2022

In the "OSFIT" (One Shot Fully Integrated Thermoplastic Frame) project, automated processes were developed to reduce both the time required and the complexity of the assembly and joining steps in aircraft production.
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Create a quote for plastic testing services in just minutes

07/06/2022

Plastics are versatile and come in every conceivable shape, size, color, and function. Yet before plastic products can fulfill their desired function, they are subject to testing to confirm they comply with various standards. It takes testing labs hours, if not days, to create a quote for materials testing.
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Economical and non-destructive inspection of thick-walled CFRP components

17/05/2022

The more complex carbon fibre reinforced plastics (CFRP) components are, the more difficult they are to examine. As a rule, the robot-assisted examination systems required for this are therefore designed for a limited range of components, which can hardly be used for examining other components.
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Digital watermarks: sort post-consumer waste more intelligently

16/02/2022

How can plastic packaging become intelligent? By providing them with digital watermarks that can be read by sorting systems and thus simplify the sorting process. The fact that this technology works was proven in the pioneering HolyGrail 1.0 project with a proof of concept.
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Digital education: Increase knowledge about plastics without holding up operations

09/11/2021

One way to address the shortage of personnel in the plastics industry is to hire lateral hires – but that requires a good continuing education program. But especially in production, this is usually not so easy to do without taking the employee away from his or her job - which results in production coming to a standstill.
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Keeping resources in the circular economy: iCycle gives face masks a second life

07/09/2021

Fraunhofer UMSICHT has developed a process with which the raw materials of the masks can be recycled and thus recovered for reuse.
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Soft polymers for human-robot interaction

10/08/2021

Most people know robots either from science fiction films or from company production halls. There, they reliably perform their tasks. But: they are heavy and rigid – anyone who gets in the way of their fixed motion sequences is in the way. For this reason, robots need to be developed that have a softer surface and are thus better suited for interaction with humans.
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