Innovative Automation At The Press

Innovative Automation At The Press

At HTI, we work hard to integrate both the latest advanced technologies and the innovations of our experienced and educated employees into our products and processes. Through great ideas and better implementations, we're able to deliver high-quality products to our customers every time.

To achieve a consistently excellent product standard, we keep track of a staggering amount of processes, materials, and machines. It takes mixers, grinders, thermolators, heater controllers, and many more machines to keep things humming. It takes electricity, compressed air, chilled water, tooling, and water lines to supply it all. And it takes people - dedicated employees - to run the presses, conduct product quality tests, box and bag products, and label and weigh finished product, and more.

With so much going on in our production facility, there's one way to improve our products, increase speed, and reduce the possibility of error - automation. Typically, multiple-component products are made up of several different molds, each of which requires a separate press. This is one place where HTI breaks from the traditional process that separates us from the competition ... let us explain.

Traditional Process

A multiple-component product typically requires some assembly by the manufacturer before it's deemed complete. In the old way of doing things, the parts are individually molded and then stored in the warehouse until their counterparts are ready. Once each individual part is finished, assembly is scheduled to make the final product.  Any additional handling of the product runs the risk of possible unwanted and unnecessary contamination.  Once the parts are assembled and the Quality Department approves, the fully assembled products are transported back to the warehouse to await final shipment.

The HTI WayPlastic Injection Molding Press

The old way didn't make a lot of sense to us ... so we went back to the drawing board. We added a robotic system that works directly with the injection molding machine to streamline the rest of the process. The joining of different automated equipment is called a "handshake;" Where the injection molding press, the robot, and the automation equipment all communicate and interact with each other right off the injection molding press.

We design and build multi-part family molds, custom end-of-arm tooling for the robot, and off-the-press assembly equipment. This eliminates the back-and-forth to the warehouse and the inconvenient and resource-wasting storage and re-assembly of individual parts. As the final step in the HTI way, we added automatic box-fill units that allow our equipment to continue to run more efficiently allowing us to run over a period of time with minimal labor and resources.

With the number of resources and processes required to make multiple-component products reduced, our presses and staff are free to work on more customer projects.  We can do more with less - less contamination risk from human interaction, fewer labor resources, less environmental impact, and less overall cycle time - cost savings we share with our customers. All these factors are lessened, but sometimes less is more ... the HTI way raises product quality and customer satisfaction every time.