RPM IML design saves time, money and increases production line efficiency

RPM was engaged to research and develop an In Mould Label (IML) solution to be integrated into existing manufacturing lines in a number of their client’s offshore manufacturing facilities.

Benefits of RPM IML design:

  • More efficient and more reliable than the European IMLs
  • Easier to operate and easier to change over than the European IMLs
  • Cost savings and time savings
  • Increased operational efficiency
  • Continual IML design improvement
  • Low cost maintenance
  • Use of the latest technology in design; rapid prototyping

The brief was:

  • The IML dispensing system had to be simple to use
  • The IML had to have the ability to operate independently from the robot
  • The IML dispenser unit had to have label capacity to meet a 24hr shift volume requirement
  •  The IML dispenser needed to meet a range of cycle times, dependant on the size of the product and type of robot, which ranged from 6 to 12 seconds
  • To develop and supply all End of Arm Tooling

During the development stage the brief was expanded to include:

  • The IML PLC had to interface with the Robot’s PLC
  • The IML had to accommodate large labels

RPM developed and trialled a mark 1 version during the first 3 months, then applied the knowledge gained from this exercise to developing a mark 2 version over the next month.

The mark 2 IML design demonstrated significant improvements in the areas of:

  • pneumatics
  • electronics
  • label pickup
  • PLC management

RPM had been supplied with an Australian made static charge mandrel by the client but this did not achieve the desired results, so RPM’s tool design team re-engineered a new mandrel design which performed faster and more accurately. RPM went on to build an in-house own range of mandrels with outstanding success.

The mark 2 version IML was supplied to the client’s site accompanied by RPM staff who undertook the complete installation and trialling process with virtually no issues.

A European competitor supplier of IML solutions to the same client attended the very first trial of RPM’s initial IML machine and was astonished at the quick set up time and the ease of use compared to their own models.

The RPM IML product proved to be more efficient, easier to operate, easier to change over and far more reliable than the European supplied IML’s, resulting in time savings, cost savings and a more efficient production line for the client.

RPM went on to build and supply seven more complete IML units with End of Arm Tooling to other offshore clients for use in the packaging industry.

RPM are dedicated to uncompromising quality and continual improvement, so it was natural that the design team continued to make Improvements on all subsequent models.

The IML’s systems have continued to function correctly and to exceed the requirements of the original brief.

The client’s tool cycle was running at six seconds, which meant that the RPM designed IML tool’s best cycle time of four seconds was lost, but RPM were pleased to have exceeded the optimum cycle time.

RPM is very happy to discuss the design of purpose built IML’s to suit your particular application.

© RPM 2019