Sepro to expand US robot facility

Photo by Roger Renstrom Jim Healy, vice president of sales and marketing for Sepro America, with the S5 beam-mounted Cartesian sprue picker, shown for the first time in North America.

Sepro America plans to expand its facility in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, and begin assembling robots there late this year.

Jim Healy, vice president of sales and marketing, said Sepro America plans to double its current 16,500 square feet. The operation, which has 40 employees, initially occupied the space in December 2013.

For the expanded assembly operation, Sepro America will source beams and some components locally and import technical parts from the plant of parent Sepro Group in La Roche-sur-Yon, France.

The aim is to optimize delivery to North American customers while maintaining quality control as a critical factor, Healy said.

Currently, Sepro America has engineering and assembly capabilities in Pennsylvania and designs and builds integrated automation cells for delivery in North America. The plan is to begin assembling robots at the Warrendale site in the fourth quarter.

During 2016, Sepro America had sales of about $22.7m, making it the top regional market for Sepro Group. The robot manufacturer reported its fourth consecutive year of record sales with global volume of €103m.

Sepro America showed its S5 beam-mounted Cartesian sprue picker in North America for the first time at the UBM Advanced Manufacturing expo in Anaheim. The S5 debuted in Europe in 2016.

“We are delivering the first 10 units for the US market,” Healy said.

The standard three-axis S5 picker is best suited for small part removal and runner separation in conjunction with injection moulding machines up to 300 tons.

Also at the expo, Sepro America demonstrated six- and five-axis robots operating together. The units were a 6X-90L articulated-arm robot and a 5X-15 Cartesian beam robot.

“We are seeing strong customer demand” for these products, Healy said.

Sepro offers a proprietary Visual control platform that a user can customize to control the simplest sprue picker or the most advanced robots. The platform can control one robot or an entire automation cell incorporating several levels of integration with one or more moulding machines.

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