PMMDA news

PMMDA ‘New Look’ Website

We’ve had a refresh! We’ve been a bit quiet lately as we’ve been busy updating our website to give it a fresh ‘new look’ enabling us to publish even more of whats happening in our industry!

If you have news or events you’d like us to add to our website just email us on pmmda@pmmda.org.uk

In the coming weeks we will be updating and adding data to our website, giving our members more access to industry information, buyers guides and technical info… watch this space!

Flegg Projects have the expertise to move you :-)

Flegg Projects will be attending the Interplas plastics exhibition on September 26-28, 2023. Their Managing Director Jayson Flegg and Sales Director Mark Marshall invite attendees to visit Hall 4, Stand A90 to discuss your machinery transportation and installation needs.

With nearly 50 years of experience, Flegg Projects has the expertise to safely and efficiently move plastic moulding machines, extruders, and heavy equipment anywhere in the world. Whether you’re relocating across your facility or importing new machinery, they can handle your machinery move smoothly from start to finish.

Stop by and let them show you how their specialised equipment and skilled team can save you time and money on your next machinery move see how we do it

Plastic Machinery Movers – Flegg (fleggprojects.co.uk)

 

Teens enjoy real-world robotics experience courtesy of FANUC UK

A group of seven young people aged between 14 and 16 have spent a week with leading automation experts FANUC UK, gaining valuable hands-on robotics experience as they learnt what it takes to become an automation engineer. As part of FANUC’s campaign to break down barriers to careers in engineering and build a future manufacturing talent pipeline, the company invited a select group of teenagers into its UK headquarters at Ansty Park, Coventry for five days in August for its first ever Work Experience Week. 

 

Hailing from a variety of nearby schools and colleges, the seven teenagers enjoyed a practical insight into the world of automation at the renowned FANUC Academy. Combining hands-on robot programming training with an introduction to project management, the group was also given access to FANUC’s portfolio of industrial robotic and automation solutions, as well as learning about the varied sectors and applications in which they are used – from aerospace and automotive to food & beverage and plastics. 

 

In a bid to understand just what it takes to forge a successful career in robotics, the students also took part in a Q&A session with FANUC staff including Hara Konstantelia, a 23-year-old Technical Sales Support Engineer who herself joined the industry through an apprenticeship programme and helped to run the week-long course. 

 

“I’ve enjoyed seeing the level of passion these young people have shown towards automation, and their excitement to learn new things,” Hara comments. “Having been down this route myself, supporting our work experience students on their own journey and expanding their perception of engineering has been a great experience.” 

 

Attracting Gen Z into a career in engineering is a key aim for FANUC UK. Its Training Academy has recently achieved independent validation, allowing the company to offer accredited courses that can feed into mainstream education. FANUC’s Work Experience programme is showcasing the opportunities available within automation and manufacturing to a cohort that may never have experienced robotics first-hand before.  

 

“We understand the importance of giving young people the opportunity to have real-world, hands-on experience with industrial robots,” says Tony Bentham, Head of Customer Service at FANUC UK “FANUC’s Work Experience Week aims to ignite a spark in young people by showing just what it takes to forge a career in robotics, as well as giving them access to people who are successfully doing their dream job.” 

 

For the majority of the participants, this was the first time they had used a robot and the experience was not one to be forgotten. “It’s been a really exciting experience and I’ve enjoyed it so much,” says Nathaniel Sharpe, 16. “I learnt a lot about the different types of robots produced by FANUC – from collaborative ones that you can work alongside, to some that can pick up items with a vacuum or grippers, to ones that can carry huge loads up to 2-3 tonnes. This was my first time using a robot and I thought it would be a lot harder than it actually was – programming it was surprisingly straightforward! The week I spent at FANUC really opened my eyes to the world of robotics and engineering – I’d recommend the work experience programme to anyone.”  

 

The success of its first ever Work Experience Week and the positive feedback from the participants has prompted FANUC to consider running similar events in the future, as Hara concludes: “Activities like this are so important as the skills required for engineering today are not always accurately represented in the media, especially on platforms aimed at younger people. I hope the students left the week inspired and with a clearer idea of what opportunities are available to them.” 

 

Education is a key theme at the 2023 FANUC UK Open House event, taking place 14-16 November at FANUC UK’s Coventry HQ. To reserve your free place, go to https://ukopenhouse.fanuc.eu/ 

 

FANUC invited a select group of teenagers into its UK headquarters at Ansty Park, Coventry for five days in August for its first ever Work Experience Week. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Combining hands-on robot programming training with an introduction to project management, the group was given access to FANUC’s portfolio of industrial robotic and automation solutions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hara Konstantelia, a 23-year-old Technical Sales Support Engineer at FANUC was quizzed by the students and helped run the week-long course.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First time robot user 16-year-old Nathaniel Sharpe programmed a robot which he found to be surprisingly straightforward.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About FANUC 

 

The FANUC Corporation is one of the worldwide leaders in factory automation for CNC control systems, robots and production machinery (ROBODRILL, ROBOCUT and ROBOSHOT). Since 1956, FANUC is the pioneer in the development of numerically controlled machines in the automation industry. With 271 FANUC locations worldwide and more than 8,000 employees, FANUC offers a dense network in sales, technical support, research & development, logistics and customer service. 

 

For more information, please contact: 

FANUC UK Ltd
Sapphire Way, Ansty Park, COVENTRY, CV7 9DR 

Phone: +44 (0) 24 7605 3130
Email: marketing@fanuc.co.uk 

www.fanuc.eu/uk/en  

 

 

 

 

 

 

FANUC helps Recycleye revolutionise waste handling with AI robotic picking technology

Support from automation specialist FANUC UK has helped a growing recycling tech company revolutionise the waste management sector with its AI-powered approach to sorting recyclable materials. London-based Recycleye uses proprietary AI vision technology in conjunction with FANUC 6-axis LR Mate robots to automate the detection and sorting of dry mixed recyclables, traditionally a largely manual process. This ground-breaking system, called Recycleye Robotics, is producing impressive results including an increase in sorting accuracy of up to 12% and improved line output of up to 10%, helping waste operators to boost their bottom line and providing a solution to ongoing labour shortages in the waste management industry.

Founded in 2020 with just four members of staff, Recycleye now employs over 45 people and has an install base that reaches across the UK and Europe. According to CEO Victor Dewulf, having FANUC by its side from day one as a strategic partner has been instrumental to the company’s rapid growth trajectory: “FANUC has been a key enabler in the success we’ve achieved so far, and they’re central to our future ambitions. They really put their faith in us and the product we set out to deliver.” Recycleye’s rapid journey took another step forward recently when it announced a $17m Series A financing round, led by deep-tech venture capital firm DCVC.

Transforming traditional sorting methods

Recycleye Robotics uses AI-powered computer vision to identify every single item in complex waste streams. The FANUC LR Mate robot which sits at the heart of the system then automatically separates those recyclables into different material classes such as plastics, aluminum, paper and cardboard. The most accurate and efficient AI robotic picking solution globally available today, it can operate 24/7, picking up to 33,000 items per robot over a 10-hour shift.

For Recycleye, choosing the right automation supplier and the right robotic solution was critical to their technology’s success. “In the early days of our journey, we worked with the MTC. They recommended that we speak to FANUC when we were looking for our robot partner and from day one, we knew we’d made the right choice,” says Chief Technical Officer Peter Hedley. “The FANUC LR Mate 200 iD/4SC is the perfect accompaniment to our vision system. We were looking to bring new technology into a very established, traditional industry. Although mostly reliant on manual pickers, any robots already being used to sort dry, mixed recyclables tended to be large, heavy Delta robots. The ability to retrofit our lightweight system into customers’ existing lines at a reasonable price point was therefore crucial.”

Compact and ultra-efficient

This ‘retrofitability’ was a main draw of the LR Mate – as a compact, short arm, mini robot it is easy to integrate into confined spaces, making it the perfect choice for Recycleye Robotics. As a result, the Recycleye team can install a system over a weekend, with no need for the facility to shut down or operations to be suspended.

Peter continues: “In addition, the FANUC LR-Mate is ultra-efficient, using five times less energy than a Delta robot. And thanks to its sophisticated sensors, there’s no wasted travel – if it’s not gripping anything, it won’t move to the bin. Reliability was another a key factor for us. It can operate 24/7 for eight years and still come back to the same millimetre point it has been told to move to.”

Mitigating labour shortages

For materials recycling facilities (MRFs), the benefits of Recycleye’s technology are myriad; not least that it offers a solution to the industry-wide labour crisis. A recent report by the CIWM[1] revealed that 60% of survey respondents had struggled to recruit staff in the past year, forecasting 89,000 vacancies across the waste and recycling sector by 2028.

“The LR Mate robot can pick as accurately as a human worker, and the vision system is as accurate as a human eye,” explains Peter. “Robots don’t need to take a break, don’t slow down or get tired, and don’t leave the job or need replacing. This is crucial as it can be very hard to find manual workers for waste picking. Recycleye Robotics is more consistently accurate than a human worker and can work safely alongside human employees, thanks to its safety guarding. It can also easily handle the hazardous materials that are routinely found in sorting facilities, which can injure human pickers. It’s therefore an ideal complement to the existing workforce.”

Purity equals premium

Another benefit for MRFs is that materials that are sorted to the highest purity will command a higher price. Recycleye Robotics is usually used at the quality assurance stage of the recycling process, comprising both positive picking (e.g. any recyclables that have been missed) and negative picking (removing any contaminants such plastics in an aluminum line). This boosts sorting accuracy, increasing purity. And thanks to the system’s transparent traceability function – every item is scanned and the resulting data is visualised on a dashboard – demonstrating pick levels and proving the purity of the batch are made simple.

“Quite simply, for our customers in the MRF sector, investing in a Recycleye Robotics system ensures the future of their business by giving them a competitive edge,” adds Peter.

A perfect partnership

FANUC UK has been part of the Recycleye journey from the start. With an install base of 14 systems across Europe in just three years and 25 FANUC LR Mates already purchased, FANUC UK’s Head of Sales, Oliver Selby, is confident that this is just the beginning for Recycleye:

“We wanted to be at Recycleye’s side from day one. We had very early engagement with them and put in place a plan that allowed them to de-risk their offering to the market. We conducted simulations and physical trials to make sure that when the product was finally released, it was going to work exactly as planned. The result is a solution that allows a higher throughput than anything else on the market today and offers a superb, automated alternative to traditional sorting methods using a compact robot, which is easy to deploy, easy to install and with low lifetime costs.”

London-based Recycleye uses proprietary AI vision technology in conjunction with FANUC 6-axis LR Mate robots to automate the detection and sorting of dry mixed recyclables, traditionally a largely manual process.

Founded in 2020 with just four members of staff, Recycleye now employs over 45 people, some of the team are pictured here.

 

 

This ground-breaking system, called Recycleye Robotics, is producing impressive results including an increase in sorting accuracy of up to 12% and improved line output of up to 10%.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About FANUC

The FANUC Corporation is one of the worldwide leaders in factory automation for CNC control systems, robots and production machinery (ROBODRILL, ROBOCUT and ROBOSHOT). Since 1956, FANUC is the pioneer in the development of numerically controlled machines in the automation industry. With 271 FANUC locations worldwide and more than 8,000 employees, FANUC offers a dense network in sales, technical support, research & development, logistics and customer service.

For more information, please contact:

FANUC UK Ltd
Sapphire Way, Ansty Park, COVENTRY, CV7 9DR

Phone: +44 (0) 24 7605 3130
Email: marketing@fanuc.co.uk

www.fanuc.eu/uk/en

[1] https://www.circularonline.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/Beyond-Waste-Essential-Skills-for-a-Greener-Tomorrow.pdf

Haitian Open New Showroom for the latest Innovation

Jupiter 2 Platen 550t machine with a Hilectro V1300 longitudinal robot cell

At Haitian’s NEW showroom you’ll find the latest models from Haitian injection moulding machinery.  They have created a space that’s both informative and engaging, so you can get the information you need to make the best decision for your business.

The showroom features state-of-the-art machines with advanced technology, all of which are designed to help you increase your production capacity and efficiency.  Whether you’re looking for a machine with a larger capacity or one that’s more energy efficient they have options that will meet your needs.

The knowledgeable staff are there to help you navigate the showroom, answer your questions and provide you with all the information you require to make an educated decision.  Haitian understand that purchasing a new injection moulding machine is a big decision and want to make sure that you feel confident in your choice.

Overall, the new showroom is the perfect place to discover the latest technology and innovations in injection moulding, robotics and automation.  Haitian invite you to visit them and explore the possibilities!

Zeres 190t with Hilectro V800 cell – Mars 2 200t with Hilectro V800 cell

New 12.5-tonne Crane for Bunting-Redditch

A new 12.5-tonne overhead crane and a pillar mounted slewing jib crane are the latest investments at Bunting’s magnetic separator and metal detector manufacturing facility in Redditch, UK.  The new overhead crane replaces one originally installed in 1989, increasing the lift capacity and improving manufacturing productivity.

Bunting is one of the world’s leading designers and manufacturers of magnetic separators, eddy current separators, metal detectors and electrostatic separators.  The Bunting European manufacturing facilities are in Redditch, just outside Birmingham, and Berkhamsted, both in the United Kingdom.

Local crane specialist AG Cranes Ltd is supplying and installing both the new single girder overhead travelling crane and pillar mounted slewing jib crane.  The new overhead crane spans the 18-metre width of the main Redditch manufacturing area with a capacity lift of 12.5-tonnes.  The hook path enables lifts up to 8-metres.

The single crane bridge beam is suitably rated to accept the lifting capacity across the whole of the required span.  The hoist is electrically powered, with top running end carriages with long travel motors.  The crane features a festoon power supply system and a long travel panel with low voltage crane control pendant.

 

The hoisting speeds of between 1 and 4 metres per minute, matched with increased cross travel and long travel speeds, meet the improved productivity targets.

The new overhead crane provides additional lift capacity following the growth in demand for larger equipment manufactured at Redditch such as Electro Overband Magnets and Eddy Current Metal Separation Modules.

The pillar mounted slewing jib crane (under-braced, beam design) has a 1-tonne lift capacity.  The 4-metre-high crane features an electric chain hoist.  The jib crane reduces the demand for larger overhead cranes when lifting lighter and smaller loads, and assists in improving manufacturing productivity.

“We [Bunting] continue to invest in our UK-based manufacturing operations,” explained Alison Flower, Bunting’s Redditch General Manager.  “The new cranes improve our manufacturing productivity, enabling us to meet the increasing demand for our equipment, especially for larger magnetic separators.”

For further information, please contact us on press@buntingmagnetics.com or visit our website:

Bunting-Redditch – www.bunting-redditch.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FANUC’s ROBOSHOT demo showcases the cutting edge of sustainability

Stand D60, Interplas 2023, 26-28 September, NEC, Birmingham

Showcasing its end-to-end sustainability credentials from raw material handling to final packaging, FANUC UK will feature a live on-stand automated manufacturing cell at Interplas 2023 (stand D60, 26-28 September 2023, NEC, Birmingham). Comprising a FANUC all-electric ROBOSHOT injection moulding machine, a FANUC LR-10iA 6-axis robot arm and ancillary equipment provided by FANUC’s on-stand partner Hi-Tech Automation, the fully automated system will also display live data showing the amount of energy being used, as well as the cost to run the cell, to highlight the efficiency gains offered by the ROBOSHOT.

Protecting planet and profit

Sustainability is front of mind for injection moulding firms. Addressing this concern, FANUC aims to show Interplas visitors the ability of its ROBOSHOT machine to handle a wide range of materials, including bioplastic, as well as highlight the energy and cost savings compared with hydraulic alternatives.

“As the FANUC ROBOSHOT is all electric, it uses 50-70% less energy than hydraulic machines, and 10-15% less energy than other all-electric machines,” says Martin Grimshaw, ROBOSHOT Sales Manager for FANUC UK. “In fact, it has been proven to be one of the lowest energy consumptions worldwide and one of the lowest total costs of ownership on the market.”

With 60% of manufacturers reporting that out of control energy bills are now threatening their business1, being sustainable is no longer just a ‘nice to have’ but a business imperative. The demonstration cell at Interplas will be linked to a clamp meter which will measure in real time the amount of power the unit is drawing from the grid and display it live for visitors to see, as well as the value of that power in pounds and pence.

The ROBOSHOT also measures this data as standard and visitors will be invited to compare the two screens, to gauge the accuracy of the ROBOSHOT’s built-in energy meter. “We are looking forward to proving to Interplas visitors just how much energy can be saved with the ROBOSHOT, and the resulting financial benefits that it can offer,” explains Martin.

 Full production lifecycle

The standard automation cell being showcased at Interplas features the FANUC ROBOSHOT S150iB at its heart. As well as low energy consumption, this CNC injection moulding machine offers repeatably high levels of consistency and accuracy, superior mould protection and rapid acceleration.

With system integration being a key talking point for the plastics industry, the ROBOSHOT will be tended at Interplas by a Standard Automation Cell from Hi-Tech, FANUC’s system integrator partner for the injection moulding sector. The system features the FANUC LR-10iA robot positioned on a linear rail to create a 7th axis, giving it full range of movement across and above the entire length of the cell.

“We are excited to show visitors what the ROBOSHOT can do and, just as importantly, demonstrate how the energy efficiency benefits extend across the entire manufacturing cell; from raw material handling to final packaging,” adds Martin.

 

 

 

 

Sierra 57 Consult Named Best Precision Engineering Recruitment Agency 2023

Sierra 57 Award Winning Team

Sierra 57 Consult, a specialist precision engineering recruitment and consultancy agency based in Worcestershire, UK,  announces its latest achievement – winning the prestigious title of Best Precision Engineering Recruitment Agency 2023 – UK. This recognition not only highlights the exceptional commitment of Sierra 57 Consult but also underscores the profound benefits it brings to its valued customers.

With a strong focus on customer satisfaction and dedicated service, Sierra 57 Consult offers expert technical recruitment, onsite mould training, and tooling validation project management, and is committed to meeting the evolving challenges of the plastics industry.

Ivor Griffiths, the General Manager of the Recruitment Division at Sierra 57 Consult, shares his insights, “Working closely with our industry associates, we strive to offer a broad reach that covers various industry sectors. Our mission is to support our clients in the plastics manufacturing industry by sourcing the most skilled candidates and assisting them in retaining top talent within their organisations.”

When it comes to Sierra 57 Consult’s team, the emphasis is on finding the best fit. Ivor highlights, “The most important thing for us when searching for new staff is for candidates to have the right positive, professional attitude and the drive to learn and develop their own knowledge bank.” This focus enables Sierra 57 Consult to deliver unparalleled service to its clients, catering to their unique requirements. The company has a wealth of combined experience but provides comprehensive training to ensure everyone is aligned and offers clear growth opportunities within the organisation.

At Sierra 57 Consult, effective communication is the cornerstone of success. Maintaining the highest standards of communication with clients and candidates alike ensures a thoroughly professional service and keeps everyone updated throughout the process.

In 2022, Sierra 57 Consult’s Plastic injection moulding training arm which won the 2022 Plastics Industry Award for ‘Best Training and Development Initiative’, delivered 181 courses to 455 individuals, achieving an impressive 96% pass rate. These courses are accredited by the IoM3 for Continuous Professional Development, reflecting Sierra 57 Consult’s commitment to providing valuable ongoing learning opportunities.

As Sierra 57 Consult garners well-deserved recognition as the Best Precision Engineering Recruitment Agency, it continues to prioritise customer satisfaction and exceptional service. This achievement reaffirms its position as a trusted industry leader, poised to exceed expectations and deliver outstanding results for its customers in the years to come.

Sierra 57 Consult Named Best Precision Engineering Recruitment Agency 2023 in the UK