Rahco Rubber, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has added an advanced production system with state-of-the-art rubber molding equipment, robotics technology, and flashless-wasteless tooling that drives end-to-end manufacturing automation with significant waste reduction, improved cycle times, and manual labor efficacies.

“Today, precision molders strive for high-efficiency, error-proof production with reduced manual labor content,” said Steve Anton, President of Rahco Rubber. “Our ongoing investments in equipment and strategic process improvements enables greater production of the highest quality precision molded rubber components.”

Rahco’s fully automated production cell is ideal for many applications with the addition of a DESMA 969 Series Sealmaster horizontal machine equipped with pneumatic part removal, actuated brushing, and runner waste removal system. The new press is setup with dual core lifting cranes and devices that open and manipulate mold plates, ensuring article retention for automation repeatability. The oversized hydraulic clamping system was designed with generous spacing and opening strokes that can support direct injection (hot or cold runner), injection transfer (hot or cold pot), and injection compression molding.

In its current arrangement, the system is producing a demanding geometric component using a custom-formulated compound. Its operations negate the necessity of human intervention and functions autonomously; streamlining processes and any required secondary steps — such as separating the component from the mold plates, cleaning and preparation for the next batch, and other individual tasks — that previously required an employee to perform one-by-one.

Excess rubber is also attributed to a waste pad for disposal with the latest techniques that not only have made the process more efficient but saves compound with significant decrease in scrap and quantifiable sustainability improvements. The finished parts move through the machine and are collected externally before entering an optimized secondary operation for precision slitting.

“Precision slitting is common in valves where the slit creates a ‘normally closed’ condition — and with this particular part, for example, our optimized secondary operations for slitting, boxing and shipment preparation classify end-to-end production as fully automated,” said Jack Anton, Vice President of Rahco Rubber. “The systems we created are robust and can now streamline many steps in the production cycle. This reflects our commitment to lean manufacturing via innovative approaches, help us in the reallocation of valuable talent and waste mitigation, all of which will positively impact our customers.”

The secondary operations automation is adjacent to the DESMA press, featuring new equipment that was custom-designed and implemented into the dedicated production cell. It receives the molded rubber parts then collates them into an upright alignment that is completed via an autonomous robotic slitting process. The new line features technology from FANUC, using a lightweight pedestal-designed SR-6iA SCARA Robot that completes the loading, slit action and removal with greater speed and efficiency while counting, sorting, and dropping finished goods into shipping boxes. Similar to molding the parts, these phases previously within the operation also required dedicated manual labor.

The automated production cell became fully operational this summer with measurable efficiencies demonstrated.

About Rahco Rubber

Rahco Rubber, Inc. is an ISO 9001: 2015 Certified, vertically integrated manufacturer of custom-engineered, precision molded rubber components and sealing solutions. It formulates and optimizes advanced polymer materials, produces highly-engineered rubber parts to exacting specifications, with zero defects, and facilitates secondary operations in-house. Since 1972, Rahco has built a reputation as a best-in-class supplier and value-added partner to the nation’s most sophisticated manufacturers, OEM’s and Tier I & II suppliers. It is a family owned and operated business that embraces a customer-focused philosophy based on trust, dedication to delivering the highest quality and lean manufacturing excellence.  For more information, please visit www.rahco-rubber.com.