Smart injection molding through flexible linking of injection molding machines

Smart injection molding through…

Happ is a well-known manufacturer of parts and assemblies for the automotive industry based in Ruppichteroth, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The equipment used to make these products includes several injection-molding machines of the all-electric EcoPower series from Wittmann Battenfeld. Flexible linking together of two of these machines by conveyor systems with buffering capacity from the Happ subsidiary ErgoTek enables efficient production of complex assemblies with a guarantee of highest possible quality standards.

Happ was established in 1964. Its first products were sandwich boxes and furniture fittings. The family-owned and owner-managed company in Ruppichteroth currently employs 70 workers making high-quality, complex parts and assemblies primarily for the automotive industry in three shifts on a 6,000 square meter production floor. Some of the company’s sales are also realized with products for white goods. Happ offers its customers the complete portfolio of goods and services ranging from product development and design and in-house mold-making all the way to prototyping and series production.

The company processes more than 1,300 t of many different types of thermoplastics with shot weights ranging from von 0.5 to 3,000 g by 1- and 2-component injection molding. About 40 injection molding machines with clamping forces from 350 to 8,000 kN are available for producing the plastic components, of which 7 are all-electric EcoPower machines from Wittmann Battenfeld in the 1,000 to 3,000 kN clamping force range. Most of the machines from the EcoPower series are equipped with W818 and W822 robots from Wittmann. To dry its materials, Happ uses a central material drying system from Wittmann..

Thanks to continuous investment in innovative automation technology, Happ is able to put together complete assemblies fully automatically and consequently with ultimate precision and efficiency. To develop and manufacture these automation solutions, Happ established the company ErgoTek at its domicile in Ruppichteroth in 2015. The foundation of ErgoTek originated from a product developed by Happ in 2014 for the fitness and physiotherapy sector by the name of Ergo-Wall. This is a climbing wall which can be set at different tilt angles using automation and conveyor technology. At the University of Potsdam, the Ergo-Wall is now being used to train physiotherapists.

Happ then decided to have ErgoTek utilize the knowledge gained with this product not only for assembly work on its own production floor, but for other industries as well. Since 2018, the modules at the heart of the modular conveyors have now been used in industrial environments. In 2019, the modular conveyors, primarily used for clocked systems, were supplemented by the FlexiTek system. Here, the FlexiTek systems with buffering capacity are suitable for a great variety of applications and optimally adapted to the requirements in injection-molding production. For 2020, an extension of the portfolio is planned, to include a heavy-load conveyor system for lattice boxes.

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