Beck Automation presents a high-precision IML solution for medical applications at Fakuma 2023

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The new Beck Medical IML presented at the trade fair is a high-precision manufacturing system specially designed for the production of medical components. The application is part of a joint project with partners ARBURG, Intravis, KEBO and MCC Verstraete. The partners set themselves the goal of developing a system that enables high-precision IML in large quantities using the latest technologies.

“Our experience of more than 35 years in the IML sector is now also setting new standards in the production of medical components. Instead of complex and failure-prone production steps with large logistical efforts, we now have end-to-end production that can be used precisely, highly efficiently, hygienically and with repeat accuracy in the smallest of spaces,” says Ralf Ziemer, sales manager for the Medical division at Beck Automation, introducing the new product.

A low-torsion, powder-coated steel profile frame forms the basis of the Beck Medical IML. The machine design is based on a modular structure, where each individual production step is assigned to a module. “Each module thus fulfills a specific task. The overall system is practically assembled on a modular principle,” Ziemer continues. In this principle, production units for screwing, welding, printing or packaging can be added. All motion sequences are executed energy-efficiently by servo and stepper motors of the latest generation. “We distinguish the IML manufacturing area from the processing area. Both areas are stably connected and can be separated from each other at the push of a button, allowing optimal access,” says Ziemer.

The IML area includes the label magazines, the label transport, the placement of the labels on the insertion cores and, for products that require the highest accuracy, the label adjustment. Label adjustment, which compensates for the print-to-cut tolerance resulting from production, is performed by Beck’s high-precision label adjustment head. The label adjustment head measures each individual label using laser sensors and compensates for inaccuracies. For this purpose, the label is moved in two axes and one angle. In the medical field, where labels can be very small, the label adjustment heads are arranged in a centering plate and not on the moving main arm. This avoids disturbing vibrations. The readjusted label is placed on the insertion core by means of a transfer gripper and electrostatically charged. The label, which is thus optimally positioned, is vacuum-assisted into the cavity of the injection mold. The adjustable head technology ensures that the cut edges do not determine the position of the decoration or functional elements.

The processing area contains the central transport unit, around which various production modules can be arranged in modular ways. Label insertion and finished part removal can be performed in parallel or sequentially. The robot’s intervention times of 1.0 – 1.4s (signal to signal) thus have no or only minimal influence on the cycle time. A fully integrated vision system ensures 100% quality control. All bad parts are automatically rejected. “Detecting defects in real time offers the possibility of immediate intervention in the process parameters and significantly reduces the reject rate,” emphasizes Ziemer. The good parts are then fed to further processing or the packaging unit.

The new Beck Medical IML will be on display at Arburg’s booth A3-3103. Beck is also exhibiting other IML systems at its booth A1-1519 and at Netstal’s booth B3-3119 at Fakuma 2023 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, from October 17 to 21.