Sepro launches its fastest-ever robot

Nov. 30, 2023
Based on the Success 11 8U, the ThunderRbot sports many innovations that have made it light and fast.

ThundeRbot When they began work on the ThundeRbot top-entry robot, Sepro’s engineers focused on maximizing speed. They developed it by modifying a standard Success 11 8U robot. Changes included swapping the original aluminum Z-axis beams with pultruded carbon-fiber-reinforced composite moving Z-axis beams and using a 3D-printed end-of-arm tool with air conduits molded into it to actuate the gripper, which eventually cut its weight by 13.2 pounds. Because the distances traveled by the Z arm are quite short, acceleration is a more important factor than final speed – and the weight drop allows it to accelerate more quickly than the Success 11 8U. To increase stiffness and limit twisting, the engineers also carbon-fiber-wrapped the aluminum Y beam, which supports the Z arm.  

What’s new? The ThundeRbot, which was shown at Fakuma in October. 

Benefits Speed. Sepro says the ThundeRbot is the fastest top-entry robot it has ever built. The Z arm of Sepro’s standard Success robot accelerates about 98 feet per second per second, while what was previously its fastest robot, the S5-25 Speed, reaches an acceleration of about 180 feet per second per second. Meanwhile, the ThundeRbot’s Z arm can accelerate at about 262 feet per second per second – giving it acceleration 45 percent faster than the Speed and 2.6 times faster than the Success. At Fakuma, the ThundeRbot demonstrated removal of small cups. Within an overall cycle time of 3.07 seconds, the ThundeRbot posted a mold-open time (during which it enters the mold, removes the part and exits) of just 0.79 second.  

Sepro America LLC, Warrendale, Pa., 412-459-0450,   

About the Author

David Tillett | Associate Editor

Associate Editor David Tillett writes and edits for Plastics Machinery & Manufacturing, Plastics Recycling and The Journal of Blow Molding. He covers new products, industry news, patents and consumer and business equipment. He has more than 20 years of experience in daily newspaper, online and magazine journalism.