As a highly respected systems solution provider to the plastics industry, ATM has been involved in many diverse and challenging applications. However, when Polypipe asked ATM to devise an automated solution for the removal of flash from their range of blow moulded Ridgigully products, ATM were presented with a highly unusual combination of design, process and Health & Safety challenges.
ATM's solution was to use the laser “out of focus”: more laser power would be required because of the larger spot size, making ATM’s initial choice of a 2.5 kW laser a major contributing factor in developing this final solution. The larger spot size together with the higher power from the laser enabled the system to not only achieve the cut profiles required during flash removal, but to generate a sufficiently high temperatures during the trimming operation to partially melt the cut area, thereby providing a smooth aesthetic finish on the part. Polypipe has achieved their objectives of turning a labour intensive and arduous task into a cost effective and highly reliable automated solution. ATM has also clearly demonstrated that difficult and unusual automation applications can become a reality using a combination of field proven hardware lateral thinking, and a determination to satisfy the customer’s requirements.
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