Sepro Robotique

P.O. Box CS 10084 , 85003 La Roche-sur-Yon Cedex
Rue Henry Bessemer, Zone Acti-Est , 85003 La Roche-sur-Yon Cedex
France

Telephone +33 2 51454700
Fax +33 2 51461091
sepro@sepro-group.com

Trade fair hall

  • Hall 12 / A49
 Interactive Plan

Hall map

K 2016 hall map (Hall 12): stand A49

Fairground map

K 2016 fairground map: Hall 12

Our range of products

Product categories

  • 03  Machinery and equipment for the plastics and rubber industries
  • 03.07  Integrated automation
  • 03.07.003  Handling technology
  • 03.07.003.02  Manipulating industrial robots, reprogrammable
  • 03  Machinery and equipment for the plastics and rubber industries
  • 03.07  Integrated automation
  • 03.07.003  Handling technology
  • 03.07.003.04  Sprue separating equipment

Sprue separating equipment

Our products

Product category: Handling devices

S5 Line: The Industrial Robots par excellence

S5 Line : The Industrial Robots par excellence

S 5-35 is designed to automate IMMs from 350 to 800 T and to carry a load of 15 Kg in its standard version, up to 20 Kg in its HL version.

S 5-35 is :

Quick : powerful servomotors ensure both maximum accelerations and minimum intervention times.
Rigid : the frame structure associated to a new guiderails system provides high rigidity adapted to strong accelerations of the mobile parts (as high as 4 m/s for the vertical stroke).
Precise : a full range of CNC rotations allows precise positioning and greater flexibility for your applications. Access into the mould is easy thanks to their compact design.

S 5-35 is driven by the high-performance Visual 2 electronic control.

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Product category: Manipulating industrial robots, reprogrammable

6X Visual, Simply Universal

5X Line is a range of 5-CNC axes' Cartesian robots, designed for universal and complex applications and easily operated with the Visual3 control system.

6X Visual is a range of 6-CNC axes' polyarticulated robots for your plastic injection molding applications, simple to program thanks to Visual3.

Both ranges can be mounted on IMMs or on peripherals to complete your parts.

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Product category: Handling devices, Manipulating industrial robots, reprogrammable

Sepro Automation “Solution” Initiative Offers Robot Users New Choices

“Solution by Sepro” is a new program launched by Sepro Group that provides injection molders with the equipment, engineering expertise and additional services needed to bring new levels of efficiency and quality to the process.

“Solution by Sepro is a complete package including robot, peripheral equipment, automation system design and services,” explains Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group. “For years we have been saying that robots should be expected to do much more than simply replacing a machine operator for part removal. And, recently, more and more of our customers are discovering that they can, in fact, improve productivity and make added-value parts, by harnessing the power of automation. That is why we have launched this new initiative.” 

Solution by Sepro encompasses: 
- The full range of 3-axis, 5-axis and 6-axis robots,
- The ergonomic and powerful Sepro Visual control platform that enables advanced automation management as standard, thanks to the Automation Pack feature.
- More than 20 years’ experience and know-how that delivers a wide range of proven, competitive automation solutions for insert placement, overmolding, post-mold assembly, simple or complex palletizing, and more.
- The ability to employ new or operational Sepro robots, integrate them into a manufacturing cell built around new or existing molding machines, regardless of brand.
- Guaranteed successful commissioning of the robot and its peripherals, and an attentive Customer Service team, ready to assist customers whenever they are needed. 

Sepro maintains four automation design and production hubs: at company headquarters in La Roche sur Yon in France, at Dietzenbach in Germany, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in North America and Shanghai, China. Here local teams are able to support almost any project. Robots come together with customized, multifunctional end-of-arm tooling, insert feeders and positioning systems, and post-mold inspection, assembly and packaging equipment. Specific solutions are available for:
- Control… vision; presence/absence of components; electrical continuity
- Parts handling… shuttle tables; vertical stackers
- Traceability… marking; labeling; separation by cavity
- Assembly… closing; clipping; screwing; gluing; welding
- Cutting… gate vestige removal; flash removal; routing 

Once all the components are complete, complex cells can be set-up and tested before shipment to the customer’s plant. Sepro automation technicians are available to carry out commissioning, start-up and handover the system, ready for full-scale production.

SOLUTION EXPERIENCE
Each year, Sepro commissions one hundred or so automated production cells all around the world. For instance, over the last five years, Sepro has installed several increasingly complex systems for a U.S. manufacturer of laboratory pipette tips. The precision tips are molded in tooling with up to 32 cavities. The end-of-arm tooling grips the parts as they are ejected from the mold, re-orients them so that they drop tip-down and are cavity-separated into 96-well racks. Machine-vision inspects each tip for quality and rejects any that are faulty.

Another manufacturer, which makes consumer products, recently installed two Sepro automation cells that include Sepro 6X-60 articulated-arm robots working together with Sepro 3-axis Cartesian robots mounted axially on 550-ton molding machines. In each cell, the 6-axis robot picks inserts from a feeder bowl and stages them for pick-up by the Cartesian robot. Dual-purpose end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) picks up the arrayed inserts and, when the mold opens, the vertical arm descends and the EOAT picks finished parts from the moving half of the mold. Then the EOAT moves to the stationary side of the tool so that it can press-fit the inserts into the cavity half of the mold, before it returns to the clamp end of the molding machine to place finished parts on a conveyer and pick up another set of inserts.

Still another customer, which molds lenses and frames for LED lighting products first began using robots in a simple cell where LED lenses needed to be properly oriented and packaged for automatic feeding to their customer’s assembly process. That success gave them the confidence to add insert placement to another cell, increasing efficiency and productivity and allowing human operators to be reassigned for more challenging tasks. To date, the company has installed five cells, each more complex than the last, ensuring quality and productivity and allowing them to bring added value to their customers.

Solution by Sepro answers the automation requirements of plastic injection-molding companies around the world. “We work together with the customer to support their projects from initial concept through engineering and manufacturing and, finally, to installation and production optimization,” concludes Jean-Michel Renaudeau. “Sepro is already a trusted supplier of robots for all kinds of injection-molding machines and we initiated the Solution by Sepro program to demonstrate that are also an ideal partner for automation projects.”

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Product category: Handling devices, Manipulating industrial robots, reprogrammable

6X Visual: Simply universal

6X Visual provides the power of the combination of a Stäubli 6-axis servo polyarticulated arm controlled by the easy-to-use Sepro Visual 3 control system. It is a Sepro innovation perfectly adapted to the specific needs of the plastics industry. 6X Visual is used on injection molding machines for simple pick & place, complex path tracking applications and in the periphery for post processing of plastic parts.

- Small and medium carriers designed as closed structures suitable for clean room applications (ISO5 and IP65)
- Large carrier (6X-340) providing a large work volume
- Several possible layouts: on the floor, on the ceiling or on the fixed IMM plate (depending on the model)
- Low maintenance (axes oil change every 20,000 hours)
- Simplified programming thanks to the 3D display on the Visual 3 control system

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Product category: Handling devices, Manipulating industrial robots, reprogrammable

Success: Universal and Economical Robots

Success is a range of universal and economic robots that provide all the performance and reliability that you expect from Sepro.These 3-axis servocontrolled robots can quickly and precisely perform simple and peripheral pick & place operations around the IMM. The powerful Touch 2 control system is easy to use and controls Success robots.

- Reliable and high performance modular mechanical design
- Long horizontal strokes
- Servomotors with simultaneous management of 3 servo axes
- Choice of transverse or axial layout
- Direct or telescopic (option) vertical arm
- Electrical cabinet on beam to free space on the floor (option)
- Simplified maintenance - Annual intervals

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Product category: Manipulating industrial robots, reprogrammable, Handling devices

Sepro Robots for Big Molding Machines

Sepro Group has introduced three new lines of Cartesian beam robots for plastics injection-molding machines with 800 to 5000 tons of clamping capacity. These include the premium 7X Line of 5-axis robots, the technological S7 Line of 3-axis robots and the Strong line of 3-axis universal robots.

The new large robots improve upon the Sepro G4 Line, which previously covered high-tonnage molding applications. In general, the new S7 and 7X robots have longer kick (Y-axis) stokes, longer vertical (Z-axis) strokes and can handle larger payloads than their G4 predecessors. The Strong Line extends the range of Sepro’s economical robots – otherwise represented in the smaller Success Range – to serve machines up to 2800 tons.

“These new large robots complete the transformation of the full Sepro product line.” explains Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of the Sepro Group, La Roche sur Yon, France. “Over the last several years – beginning in the depths of the financial crisis – we have completely redesigned our portfolio to deliver all-servo robots that are faster and more powerful, with longer strokes and larger payloads than previous generations. We’ve added 5- and 6-axis products in all size ranges, in-mold labeling solutions, a dual-arm unit, a servo sprue picker and new, user-friendly controls. We firmly believe Sepro is the only company that really offers this complete choice in robots.”

S7 3-AXIS ROBOTS
The S7 Line, which Sepro refers to as a “technical” range, includes three different models: the S7-45 for molding machines from 800 to 1300 tons, the S7-55 for machines from 1200 to 2500 tons and the S7-75 for machines from 2300 to 5000 tons. They feature Sepro’s highest level of quality and can be adapted easily to customer requirements for axial configurations (where the main X-axis beam runs parallel rather than perpendicular to the centerline of the molding machine), as well as extended vertical (LV) and kick (LD) strokes and heavy-payload (HL) options. Compared to the previous generation G4 units, the new S7 Lines have a standard kick stroke that is 10 to 15% longer, and a vertical stroke that is 4 to 10% longer. Payload capacities are up to 50% greater. Modules for the X, Y and Z axes are built separately, simplifying transport and assembly.

7X 5-AXIS ROBOTS
The 7X Line is based on the same basic mechanical platform as the S7 3-axis robot, but adds a 2-axis servo-driven wrist developed in partnership Stäubli Robotics. Unlike pneumatic wrists, which can only move in a continuous arc from 0° to 90° or 0° to 180°, the 7X wrists can move from 0 to 180° and 0 to 270° or any part of those rotations with absolute precision. 

Servo motors have positional encoders that recognize exactly where the drive shaft is at any moment. Then the system control can integrate positional signals from all of the servo motors on all 5 axes so that it knows exactly where the gripper and part are in space at all times. This allows the robot to complete very complicated motions in all axes simultaneously and do it very precisely and with perfect repeatability. The servo wrist can grip and position parts at any angle making the robot much easier to set up and operate and allowing for simpler end-of-arm tooling.   

STRONG LINE ROBOTS
Built with all the quality and reliability of all Sepro robots, the Strong Lines make 3-axis servo speed and precision available to molders who have applications that require simple pick-and-place functionality and simple downstream operations. The design approach and production methods allow Sepro to make an affordable robot with enhanced capabilities.

VISUAL & TOUCH CONTROLS
All these new robots are operated using the same easy-to-use control platform, which was developed by Sepro especially for injection-molding applications. The 5-axis 7X robots benefit from the application of the Visual 3 robot control, Sepro’s newest, fastest and most powerful control. Visual 2 controls are standard on advanced S7 Line 3-axis robots, and Strong can use the basic Touch 2 control  or the Visual 2 can be specified when applications require a more powerful control. All controls have the same user interface with large, easy-to-read and -navigate 10-inch touch-sensitive screen that makes operation simple and intuitive. A joystick allows operators to actually steer the robot to fine-tune its movements.

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Product category: Handling devices, Manipulating industrial robots, reprogrammable

5X Line: Truly Flexible 5-Axis Cartesian Robots

5X Line robots are designed from latest generation fast and precise Sepro 3-axis Cartesian robots with a Stäubli 2-axis servo wrist. A unique combination that provides a number of solutions for automating injection molding machines. These robots installed on the IMM can be used for unloading and processing parts; they can be located at the end of the IMM to perform post-processing. They can be programmed quickly and efficiently thanks to the power and user friendliness of the Visual 3 control system.

- Rigid single-piece frame structure
- Prismatic linear guides for high accelerations
- Powerful servomotors and antivibration software
- Compact, precise and agile Stäubli servo wrist
- Y free function for accompanying parts ejected from the mold
- Path tracking function standard thanks to Visual 3
- Direct or telescopic (except for 5X-15) vertical arm
- Heavy Load Version (Option) on 5X-35 for carrying loads up to 20 kg

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Product category: Handling devices

Robots for Injection Moulding Machines

On K2010 Sepro Robotique presents its 5th Generation of Robots: S5-Line, the result of ongoing investments in research and development aiming at offering you an extra-high level of performance and design. The S5 Line range of robots is designed to automate IMMs up to 1,000 T. S 5-35: The Industrial Robot par excellence S 5-35 and S5-25 are the first models on the market to automate IMM from 120 to 700 T. The robotsS5-Line are :  Quick : powerful servomotors ensure both maximum accelerations and minimum intervention times.  Rigid : the frame structure associated to a new guiderails system provides high rigidity adapted to strong accelerations of the mobile parts (as high as 4 m/s for the vertical stroke).  Precise : a full range of CNC rotations allows precise positioning and greater flexibility for your applications. Access into the mould is easy thanks to their compact design. S 5-35 is driven by the high-performance Visual2 control-system With its 10", graphic colour touch screen and its integrated Simple Pick & Place module, Visual 2 simplifies the creation of robot programs by asking the user a set of questions. The resulting pro-gram can be immediately seen on a 3D video. Fine-tuning easy by the integrated joystick. The robot's programs can be saved on a USB flash drive and therefore transferred to other applications. To find out more about Visual 2 and its functions, go to www.visualsepro2.com.

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Company news

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Oct 20, 2016

Sepro Group Expects Another Record Year; Plans Additional Expansion in 2017

The year 2016 has been another good one for robot manufacturer Sepro Group, La Roche sur Yon, France. After record turnover in each of the previous three years, the company is predicting the upward trend will continue.

“Turnover of €100 million is certain for 2016,” says Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO. “Almost every month,” he reports, “sales were up compared to the same month in 2015 and so we are quite confident that we will see an increase of possibly 13% when full-year sales are counted.” Sepro now employs over 500 worldwide, he says.
Renaudeau attributes his company’s success to three key factors:
. Global presence and global service for the key accounts.
· Product innovation.
· A clear brand strategy that includes technological alliances with injection-molding machine manufacturers and other automation companies./

Sepro exports 85% of its robots outside of France and a third outside Europe. The company has built a network of ten direct sales organizations around the world, adding offices in Canada and the Austria/Hungary region in 2016. The launch in Austria and Hungary, in particular, has been such a success that Sepro has already expanded the staff there to include a dedicated technician.

With daughter companies already in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Germany, UK, Spain, Benelux and China, and 40 distributors or brand-representatives, Sepro’s reach extends to five continents. About 20% of staff works abroad and the company employs 18 different nationalities.That global footprint should grow further in 2017 with the establishment of Sepro Switzerland, and a 150m² expansion of the Sepro Germany facility in Dietzenbach. In the United States, Sepro America will begin manufacturing beams and other components locally and begin assembling Made in USA robots.

After the K 2016 debut of new robots for molding machines up to 5000 tons, including the 7X-100XL 5-axis Cartesian robot and the 6X-400 6-axis articulated-arm robot, product innovations will continue in the second quarter 2017 with the official launch of new smaller units. These include Success 5, the smallest robot in the affordable, general-purpose Success range, which is sized for machines from 30 to 180 tons, and the new Multi Inject 40, which is the third and largest robot designed for multi-material molding applications where a secondary vertical injection unit would interfere with movement of a standard beam robot. They offer the flexibility of a 3-axis Cartesian configuration and are more economical than a side-entry robot.

2017 is also expected to see the first results of collaboration between Sepro and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. the project is aimed at developing the next generation of robot and injection-molding machine controls including features like ‘agile’ ergonomics, similar to tablets, the ability to ‘learn by doing,’ 3D simulation to make programming easier, extensive customization, and ‘apps’ to facilitate routine functions like maintenance and troubleshooting.

The alliance with Carnegie Mellon is just one example of the partnerships Sepro Group has been developing with academic institutions, other automation companies and injection-molding machine suppliers. The payoff from one of those alliances is evident on the Sepro stand at K 2016, where an operating 50-ton Sumitomo-Demag injection-molding machine is equipped with a Sepro 6X-60 articulated-arm robot. The Sepro Visual 3 robot control and the IMM control are fully integrated in a real-world example of Industry 4.0. All application data, including robot programming and possibly other auxiliary equipment like mold temperature controls, are filed in one place in the IMM control memory. Shortcut icons and keyboard functionality for operation of the Sepro robot are built into the IMM control. Application parameters for the entire cell are filed and backed up in one single archive and the operator can start up the whole production cell on one touchscreen.
 
About Sepro
Sepro was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. Today, Sepro Group is one of the largest independent sellers of Cartesian robots and is on track toward its fourth straight year of record sales. With 3-, 5- and 6-axis servo robots, special-purpose units and complete automation systems, all supported by one universal control platform developed by Sepro especially for injection molders, Sepro offers a wider choice of robots that any other supplier in the plastics industry. Customers around the world are supported by wholly-owned daughter companies and sales and service offices ten key markets, and numerous independent business partners, distributors and service hubs extend Sepro’s global network to over 50 other countries. To date, Sepro has equipped more than 30,000 injection-molding machines worldwide.

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Oct 20, 2016

Sepro Promises a ‘Wide Open’ Future; Introduces New Robots, Big and Small

Sepro Group is expanding at both ends of their range of robots for injection molding, introducing two of their biggest robots ever, and one of their smallest as well, at K 2016. At the same time, ten injection-molding-machine manufacturers, representing seven different countries, are also operating Sepro robots, bringing the number of units at the show to 24. Sepro is exhibiting in Hall 12, Stand A49, at the world’s biggest plastics show being held in Dusseldorf, October 19 to 26.

The total number robots, the wide range of sizes and configurations, continued innovation in automation and control, together with a growing roster of marketingand technology partners, stand behind the company’s new slogan: ‘Your Future is Wide Open.’

“The K show always gives us a view into the future of plastics processing,” observes Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO. “In 2016, that future is one of openness and connectivity. It’s a future where companies collaborate to offer more choice to their customers and where humans and machines communicate more easily to increase quality and productivity. Whether you call it ‘The Factory of the Future’ or ‘Industry 4.0,’ these technological developments present injection molders with new opportunities for success. That is why, for K 2016 and beyond, Sepro is saying and demonstrating that ‘Your Future is Wide Open.’”
 
Be Connected
A central feature on the Sepro stand is a special ‘Be Connected 4.0’ display featuring the Visual family of proprietary controls, developed by Sepro especially for injection molding. Here, human visitors can interact with machines and experience for themselves how easy and intuitive it is to program even complex robot sequences. They can learn about the three different levels of control integration Sepro has developed in collaboration with its IMM-manufacturing partners Finally, they can see Industry 4.0 in action on a Sumitomo Demag molding machine, which has the Visual control for a 6X-60 articulated arm robot integrated into the machine control. The machine will be molding syringe barrels.

New Big Robots
Dominating the Sepro exhibit, by occupying almost one-third of the 300m2 stand, are two of the biggest robots the company has ever built. In fact, the new 7X-100XL, a 5-axis Cartesian beam robot, along with the new 6X-400, a 6-axis articulated-arm robot, are thought to be the largest robots at the K fair. 

The horizontal beam on the 7X-100XL is a staggering 5m in length but that is just half of the maximum length available. The telescopic vertical stroke is 3.2m and the maximum payload is100 kg. The 6X-400 6-axis articulated-arm robot, the product of a recent manufacturing partnership with Yaskawa Motoman, has a 4m reach and can carry a maximum 120-kg payload.

 Most large robots find application in the automotive industry, so it is fitting that these two Sepro giants are being demonstrated will be manipulating a bumper from a Mercedes Benz C-Class auto and a dash panel for a Citroën DS. The advanced servo-driven wrists on both robots make it possible to complete complex part-extraction movements and/or pre- and post-mold secondary operations including insert-placement, edge flaming, assembly, simple or complex palletizing, and more.

The 7X-100XL completes Sepro’s line of 5-axis beam robots (5X and 7X ranges), which now includes 6 models that can automate injection-molding machines from 20 to 5000 tons. The Sepro Yaskawa 6X-400 6-axis robot is the largest of four models introduced recently to serve molding machines from 800 to 5000 tons. Four smaller 6-axis units, developed in partnership with Staübli Robotics were introduced several years ago to equip molding machines with up to 800 tons of clamp.

 New Small Robots
Sepro is also introducing new small robots, including The S5 Picker servo-driven sprue picker. Based on the same basic mechanical design as the Sepro Success range of economical, general-purpose robots, the S5 Picker has same 3-axis linear design with servo drive on all axes. It comes standard with a simple sprue gripper but it can be supplied optionally with an R1 wrist rotation and can be fitted with simple end-of-arm tooling. The fast-cycling picker operates entirely inside the IMM footprint and includes an unloading chute and guarding.

To further illustrate the breadth of the Sepro product portfolio, the S5 picker is operating at K 2016 along with several other Sepro robots handling iPad covers. This demonstration cell includes:

·         Success 22… mid-size general-purpose robot for IMMs from 150 to 500 tons

·         5X-25… representing the smaller units in Sepro’s 5-axis robot line

·         S3  numeric sprue picker… with horizontal arm that rotates up to 100° from the centerline of the machine to drop sprues or small parts beside the fixed platen
 
About Sepro
Sepro was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. Today, Sepro Group is one of the largest independent sellers of Cartesian robots and is on track toward its fourth straight year of record sales. With 3-, 5- and 6-axis servo robots, special-purpose units and complete automation systems, all supported by one universal control platform developed by Sepro especially for injection molders, Sepro offers a wider choice of robots that any other supplier in the plastics industry. Customers around the world are supported by wholly-owned daughter companies and sales and service offices ten key markets, and numerous independent business partners, distributors and service hubs extend Sepro’s global network to over 50 other countries. To date, Sepro has equipped more than 30,000 injection-molding machines worldwide.

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Oct 20, 2016

At K 2016, Sepro Suggests Industry 4.0 Starts with Connecting People

Industry 4.0 and the Factory of the Future are expected to be subjects on the mind of every visitor to K 2016, the world’s biggest plastics show taking place in Dusseldorf, October 19 – 26. Most people will be thinking about machines that are able to communicate and collaborate with other machines or with human bIndustry 4.0 and the Factory of the Future are expected to be subjects on the mind of every visitor to K 2016, the world’s biggest plastics show taking place in Dusseldorf, October 19 – 26. Most people will be thinking about machines that are able to communicate and collaborate with other machines or with human beings. Sepro Group, the robot manufacturer is exhibiting in Hall 12, Stand A49, has bigger ideas.

“I think the general assumption is that Industry 4.0 is an evolution of technology,” says Sepro CEO, Jean-Michel Renaudeau. “Many people think it is a feature or capability that is built into equipment they can buy. However, we believe that idea is too limiting. If you look at robots and injection-molding machines, Industry 4.0 is already here. Our equipment has been communicating with molding machines and human beings for years. It has to do so to function properly.

“Of course, that communications technology will become more advanced,” he continues, and we are already seeing collaborative robots or co-bots that can work side-by-side with humans in some cases. However, we need to think of Industry 4.0 in broader terms. At Sepro, we believe the real Industry 4.0 will see communication, integration and collaboration not only between machines, but also between people and between companies around the world. That is what will take industry to the next level. That is what will create the factories of the future.”

Indeed, Sepro has already taken significant steps toward Renaudeau’s vision of Industry 4.0. It started with the company’s proprietary Visual control platform: one control, developed specifically for plastics injection molding that can be customized to control the simplest sprue picker or the most advanced 3-, 5- or 6-axis robots; that can control one robot or an entire automation cell.

This same control can be used to operate not only Sepro robots, but also robots developed by other companies, including Sepro robots partners Stäubli Robotics, Yaskawa Motoman and Machines Pagès. It can integrated into the control systems on injection-molding machines made by Sumitomo Demag, Billion, Stork and others, making it easier for molders to set up and operate manufacturing cells.

A demonstration of this advanced connectivity is taking place on the Sepro stand at K 2016, where a Sumitomo Demag molding machine is producing syringe barrels with the help of a Sepro 6X-60 articulated-arm robot manufactured in collaboration with Stäubli. It illustrates how Sepro collaborates with different companies so it can offer three different levels of integration between the molding machine and the Sepro Visual 3 control.

·         Level 1 – Mirroring: The IMM doesn’t control the robot, but it does provide the interface to the robot control. In this configuration, it is possible to control the robot either from the robot control pendant or from the machine control panel.

·         Level 2 – Shortcuts: This configuration adds the ability to use shortcut icons and keyboard functionality built into the IMM control. Also, IMM set-up actions – like selecting or entering a mold or job code – automatically trigger similar actions in the robot control.

·         Level 3 – Full Integration: The robot application program is fully integrated in the IMM control and all application data, including robot programming and possibly other auxiliary equipment like mold temperature controls, are filed in one place in the IMM control memory. This arrangement is best for molders that want to centralize management of plant production and prevent any chance of a conflict between robot and machine controls.

Collaboration Between Companies
The demonstration described above would not be possible without Sepro’s consistent pursuit of partnerships with other automation companies and IMM manufacturers. That level of collaboration is also evident throughout injection-molding exhibits in Halls 12, 13 and 15, where a total of 24 Sepro robots can be seen operating not only on the Sepro stand, but also in the booths of 10 different exhibitors representing 7 different countries.

Driving Industry Forward

Jean-Michel Renaudeau also points out that Industry 4.0 is bigger than the plastics industry alone. This is why he and Sepro are working with other businesses and institutions to share knowledge, resources and perspective.

For instance, Sepro is collaborating with the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, to develop the next generation of robot and injection-molding machine controls. The project is still in the development phase, but it is likely that the new controls will feature elements like ‘agile’ ergonomics, similar to tablets, the ability to ‘learn by doing,’ 3D simulation to make programming easier, extensive customization, and ‘apps’ to facilitate routine functions like maintenance and troubleshooting.

However, collaboration cannot be confined within one industry. So, Renaudeau is actively involved in developing innovative management practices with Audencia Business School in Nantes, one of the top business schools in France and in Europe. The school has 3470 students from over 80 countries in its bachelors, international and specialized masters, MBA, doctoral and executive education programs.

He calls this “crossing the border.” When people and companies share resources, he says, they develop a more global view. They gain information and understanding that allows them to become stronger quicker. He points to his own company as an example of how these kinds of connections ultimately benefit plastics injection molders. “How does a relatively small company like Sepro, in the middle of nowhere in western France, become a global leader in robotics and automation,” he asks? “Industry 4.0 is not just about technology that allows machines to communicate. That’s a part of it, but more importantly it is about people and companies multiplying our own capabilities through collaboration and a shared vision of the future. Why else are auto companies like Ford actively working with service companies like Uber?”

This vision of Industry 4.0, what Renaudeau refers to as “the commons sense view,” and his commitment to it, has allowed Sepro has been able to make big things happen in a short period of time. At K 2016, he is urging visitors and exhibitors alike to embrace a more expansive and more inclusive approach to creating the factory of the future.

About Sepro
Sepro was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. Today, Sepro Group is one of the largest independent sellers of Cartesian robots and is on track toward its fourth straight year of record sales. With 3-, 5- and 6-axis servo robots, special-purpose units and complete automation systems, all supported by one universal control platform developed by Sepro especially for injection molders, Sepro offers a wider choice of robots that any other supplier in the plastics industry. Customers around the world are supported by wholly-owned daughter companies and sales and service offices ten key markets, and numerous independent business partners, distributors and service hubs extend Sepro’s global network to over 50 other countries. To date, Sepro has equipped more than 30,000 injection-molding machines worldwide.

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Jun 29, 2016

Projecting Another Record Year in 2016, Sepro Sees a Future of Connectivity, Agility; Will Introduce Biggest Robots Yet at K Show

Sepro Group will bring a total of 26 robots to K 2016, including two that will be, most likely, the largest robots at the show. The total number, as well as the wide range of sizes and configurations, helps emphasize Sepro’s commitment to connectivity and agility, two of the primary elements in the industry of the future, also known as Industry 4.0. The company is delivering this message for the first time at the K 2016 Press Preview, presented by Messe Dusseldorf, June 27 to 29, where the world’s largest plastics show will take place in October.

According to CEO, Jean-Michel Renaudeau, Sepro is on track toward its fourth record sales year in a row. He projects global turnover will exceed € 100 million for the first time. Unit sales (robots and sprue pickers) are expected to surpass 2500.

“Most people expect that the industry of the future – some call it Industry 4.0 – will be built on openness,” Renaudeau explains. “We embrace that idea and we believe it has been what has fueled our recent successes. We have been open to new technologies, whether they are developed by Sepro engineers or by partner companies like Staübli, Machines Pagès and now Yaskawa Motoman. We have made connections with injection molders and machine manufacturers through agile integration, which allows Sepro to equip any molding machine with one common control platform available in several different configurations. And we are working with researchers at Carnegie Mellon University on the next generation of robot controls. In all of this, we see a future that is wide open to innovation, integration and collaboration that will benefit not only Sepro, but the entire industry.”

26 Robots on 11 stands in 3 Different Halls at K 2016

Thanks to partnerships with ten different molding-machine manufacturers, Sepro robots can be seen operating in three of the machinery halls at the Dusseldorf plastics show. These exhibitors represent seven different nations.

Another eight robots will be exhibited on Sepro’s own stand (Hall 12, A49). These include two new robots aimed at large molding machines. The new 7X-100XL, a 5-axis Cartesian beam robot, will be demonstrated along with the new 6X-400, a 6-axis articulated-arm robot that is the product of the recent partnership agreement with Yaskawa Motoman.  

Occupying 88m2 of the company’s 300m2 booth, these two robots are expected to be the biggest at the show. The horizontal beam on the 7X-100XL offers a 5-m horizontal stroke. The telescopic vertical stroke is 3200 mm and maximum payload is100 kg (an extended vertical stroke up to 3600 mm is optional). At K 2016, the 7X-100XL will be demonstrating manipulation of a C Class bumper through 5 axes of motion using the servo-driven wrist developed by Staübli Robotics. Unlike pneumatic wrists, which can only move in a continuous arc from 0° to 90° or 0° to 180°, the 7X wrists can move from 0° to 180° and 0° to 270° or any part of those rotations with absolute precision.

The 7X-100XL completes Sepro’s line of 5-axis beam robots (5X and 7X ranges), which now includes 6 models that can automate injection-molding machines from 20 to 5000 tons.

The new Sepro Yaskawa 6X-400 6-axis robot will also be handling an automobile bumper – this one for an Audi vehicle. The robot is the largest of four models introduced recently to serve molding machines from 800 to 5000 tons. These four new models complete Sepro’s range of 6-axis robots. Four smaller 6-axis units, developed in partnership with Staübli Robotics were introduced several years ago to equip molding machines with up to 800 tons of clamp. Like all Sepro robots, the new Yaskawa-Motoman units are serviced by Sepro’s global team of skilled technicians.

The 6X-400 being demonstrated on the Sepro stand will have a reach radius of just over 4m and can carry a maximum 120-kg payload. The Sepro Yaskawa-Motoman design is streamlined to minimize space requirements. The two smaller models are intended to be placed on the floor next to the molding machine like any articulated-arm unit, while the two larger units are specially designed to be shelf-mounted on top of the fixed platen or another raised structure or wall. The 6X-400 is one of the largest shelf-mounted robots in the world.

The new Sepro Yaskawa-Motoman range, along with the whole 6-axis product family, will be driven by Sepro’s Visual 3 control. The same control platform is used with all Sepro robots.  The Visual controls are designed to be universally user-friendly and are particularly well adapted to the world of plastic injection molding. Sepro is the only independent robot manufacturer to offer a native control platform common to all its robots.

Other New Robots Being Introduced
Sepro is also introducing new small robots, including a 3-axis robot called the Success 5, and an S5 servo-driven sprue picker. The two robots share the same basic mechanical design. The new Success 5, which is part of the Sepro Success range of economical, general-purpose robots for molding machines up to 1000 tons, is the smallest in the line. Yet, it is a true 3-axis servo robot with a standard R1 pneumatic (0° - 90°) rotation and an optional R3 rotation (0° - 90° or 0° - 180°). The standard unit has a 400 mm horizontal demolding stroke, a 1000 mm vertical stroke and a 3-kg maximum payload.

The S5 picker has the same 3-axis linear design with a simple sprue gripper, but it can be supplied optionally with an R1 wrist rotation and can be fitted with simple end-of-arm tooling. The fast-cycling picker operates entirely inside the IMM footprint and includes an unloading chute and guarding.

To illustrate the breadth of the Sepro product portfolio, the S5 picker will be operating at K 2016 along with several other Sepro robots handling iPad covers. This demonstration cell will include:

Success 11 and Success 22… somewhat larger models than the new Success 5
5X-25… representing the smaller units in Sepro’s 5-axis robot line
S3  numeric sprue picker… with horizontal arm that rotates up to 100° from the centerline of the machine to drop sprues or small parts beside the fixed platen 
A pneumatic sprue picker will also be on display

The stand will also feature an operating 50-ton Sumitomo-Demag injection-molding machine equipped with a Sepro 6X-60 articulated-arm robot, which is the smallest in the 6X Visual range of 6-axis robots. In this small-footprint integration, the robot will remove medical syringe barrels from the mold and place them on a machine-side conveyor. 

Solution by Sepro
One more feature of the Sepro stand is an “automation wall” presenting still and video images that explain the capabilities and services behind Solution by Sepro, a complete, package of equipment and services to bring new levels of efficiency and quality to the injection-molding process. Each customized solution includes one or more robots, multifunctional end-of-arm tooling, insert feeders and positioning systems, and post-mold inspection, assembly and packaging equipment. Specific solutions are available for:

Control… vision; presence/absence of components; electrical continuity
Parts handling… shuttle tables; vertical stackers
Traceability… marking; labeling; separation by cavity
Assembly… closing; clipping; screwing; 
Cutting… gate vestige removal; flash removal; routing

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May 17, 2016

Sepro Launches Austria Hungary Sales and Service Office Following Record Sales in 2015

For the second time in just a few months, Sepro Group has opened a new sales and service office in a key market. Sepro Austria Hungary opened for business on March 1, in Budapest. Another daughter company opened in Canada in January.

The announcement of the new European sales and service office was made soon after Sepro closed the books on its third record sales year in a row. Turnover of EUR 92.8 million in 2015 represents a 17% increase over 2014. (See chart below.)

 “We owe a big part of our success in recent years to increased globalization,” commented Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro. “As we have expanded around the world, however, we have learned how important it is to be local in the regions we serve. Several of our key customers have operations in Austria and Hungary and these countries have a growing automotive sector that needs robots. Our aim is to offer local sales and service support and to be closer to our customers so we can offer them more robot choices.”

 Sepro is the leader in the market and equips all injection-molding-machine brands from 50 to 5000 tons, whether new or already installed. Sepro’s complete solution includes robots with 3, 5 or 6 axes of motion and all are controlled by the same Visual platform. Sepro sales and service will be sharing premises in Budapest with Sumitomo Demag, a privileged partner that sells Sepro robots under the Sumitomo Demag name. The offices are located at:

H-2045 Törökbálint
FSD Park 2, Fsz. 2
Hungary
Ph: +36303001219

Csaba Jozan, who has 16 years of plastics industry experience, including 7 years representing Sepro in the region, has been named Sales Manager, Austria Hungary. In addition to his Sepro experience, Jozan has also sold injection-molding machines and other auxiliary equipment. He is trained in Electrotechnical Studies and speaks fluent Hungarian, German and English.

Since the depths of the Economic Crisis in 2009, Sepro’s turnover has increased over 250%. Renaudeau attributes this remarkable record of success to a major commitment to research and development, and to business and technology partnerships. Virtually every product the company sells today has been developed or redesigned in the last seven years. Sepro has invested heavily in expanding operations in the United States and Germany, its two largest markets outside France, while also building its base in developing markets like Brazil and China. The new daughter company in Canada and new sales office in Austria Hungary represent a continued commitment to global growth.

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Apr 1, 2016

Sepro and Yaskawa Agree to Collaborate on 6-Axis Robots for Larger Molding Machines

Membership in the regional manufacturing innovation group PROXINNOV has resulted in a new alliance between Sepro Group, La Roche sur Yon, and Yaskawa, a Japanese company with offices in Nantes.  Sepro will sell large 6-axis articulated-arm robots manufactured by Yaskawa as part of Sepro’s full line of robots used in plastics injection molding. 

Xavier Lucas, Président of Yaskawa France and Manfred Stern, General Director and President of Yaskawa Europe, which is located in Eschborn in Germany, visited La Roche sur Yon in early March to join Jean-Michel Renaudeau, CEO of Sepro Group, in signing the partnership agreement.

The robots will be sold under the Sepro-Yaskawa brand name as part of the Sepro 6X Visual product line, which also includes 6-axis robots manufactured in cooperation with Stäubli. That relationship will continue, with Sepro selling Stäubli robots for applications on molding machines with up to 800 tons of clamping capacity and four bigger Yaskawa units for machines up to 5000 tons. The simple and intuitive Sepro Visual controls, specially developed for plastics injection molding, are used to control the 6-axis robots. This is the same control platform used on the entire range of Sepro robots. Sepro is currently working on electronics concepts for the future in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University in the U.S.A. Results from that collaboration are expected in 2017.

The Sepro-Yaskawa agreement grew out of the two companies’ membership in PROXINNOV, an innovation forum serving companies in the Pays de la Loire region in western France. Its mission is to raise awareness of industrial robotics as a means to improve efficiency of manufacturing, and to encourage collaboration between its members. Sepro CEO Jean-Michel Renaudeau is the current President of PROXINNOV.

Sepro is a world leader in the development and manufacture of robots for injection molding and manufactures its own 3- and 5-axis Cartesian beam robots. In addition to agreements with the 6-axis robot manufacturers, Sepro is in partnership with injection-molding-machine manufacturers, including Sumitomo Demag, for the distribution of its robots under those manufacturers’ brands. These collaborations have largely contributed to three successive years of record turnover. In 2015, turnover amounted to 92.8 million euros, an increase of 17% compared to 2014, with more than 2,300 robots sold.

“Some people might ask how a relatively small, independent French company could achieve such results,” observes Jean-Michel Renaudeau. “The answer is that we did it by multiplying our own capabilities through partnerships with other companies who want to change the robotic automation market. Our involvement in PROXINNOV, which has resulted in this new partnership with Yaskawa, is typical. By being open to collaboration, Sepro has been able to make big things happen in a short period of time.”

For his part, Xavier Lucas emphasizes that “for Yaskawa to partner with a leading global supplier of Cartesian robots is very exciting. We share with Sepro a vision of quality of products and quality of service. The geographical proximity of our two companies, combined with global support that Yaskawa can bring through its 78 subsidiaries, has also facilitated collaboration. In the coming years, we hope to strengthen that partnership and extend it to other activities.”

ABOUT SEPRO
Sepro was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. Today, Sepro Group is one of the largest independent sellers of Cartesian robots. Customers around the world are supported by wholly-owned daughter companies and sales and service offices in Germany, Spain, Benelux, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China and now Austria Hungary. Numerous independent business partners, distributors and service hubs extend Sepro’s global network to over 50 other countries. To date, Sepro has equipped more than 30,000 injection-molding machines worldwide.

ABOUT YASKAWA
Since 1915, Yaskawa Electric has served the world needs for robotics, motion control and system engineering. More than 330,000 Yaskawa robots are installed around the world in applications that not only include injection molding, but also welding, packaging, assembly, coating, cutting and material handling. Other products include servo drives and motors, AC drives and motors, linear motion, controllers, and network control.

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About us

Company details

Sepro was one of the first companies in the world to develop Cartesian beam robots for injection-molding machines, introducing its first CNC controlled “manipulator” in 1981. Today, Sepro Group is one of the largest independent sellers of Cartesian robots. Customers around the world are supported by wholly-owned daughter companies and sales and service offices in Germany, Spain, Benelux, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, China and now Austria Hungary. Numerous independent business partners, distributors and service hubs extend Sepro’s global network to over 50 other countries. To date, Sepro has equipped more than 30,000 injection-molding machines worldwide.

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