Hitting the mark: Trotec uses OMRON robots to boost productivity in SpeedMarker laser marking range

September 18, 2023

The recipe is simple … Take Trotec’s high-quality laser marking systems and combine them with OMRON’s latest robotic automation and control systems.

Hitting the mark: Trotec uses OMRON robots to boost productivity in SpeedMarker laser marking range

The recipe is simple … Take Trotec’s high-quality laser marking systems and combine them with OMRON’s latest robotic automation and control systems.

The end result is a world class range of end-to-end laser marking solutions capable of high-speed, continuous operation.

For customers, this means lights out automation with huge unattended run-times, as they can now batch hundreds of parts to run without operator intervention. Most importantly with the right part sizes and quantities, this results in bigger throughputs from smaller bed machines with less effort, than could previously be achieved with bigger more expensive systems.

Established 15 years ago in Australia, Trotec Laser is a leading supplier of high-quality laser machines and laser materials, servicing more than 40 market segments in Australia and New Zealand.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of TroGroup, a world leading global stamp and laser technology business, based in Marchtrenk, Austria.

Trotec’s vast range covers everything from entry level to fully integrated industrial solutions.

“Our industrial laser solutions present not only a cost-effective alternative for those requiring medium to high-volume marking but also an intelligent application of smart cameras for precise positioning and data verification, eliminating costly errors,” says Trotec General Manager Mark Luft. 

Inside the company’s high-speed galvo laser system, (the SpeedMarker 700) Trotec has installed OMRON’s i4L SCARA robot – a compact, high-speed, versatile and cost effective 4 axis industrial robot.

“The OMRON i4L allowed Trotec Australia to develop an automated laser marking solution that ticked all the boxes regarding seamless integration and reliability which in turn gives our customers increased productivity and a higher return on their investment,” says Mark.

Match made in industrial heaven

So how did this successful partnership begin?

“Trotec first approached OMRON when we were looking for a simple PLC for a small project,” Mark explains.

“A couple of months later a customer asked us to design an automatic plate change solution.

“Not wanting to build a one-off mechanical system we knew exactly where to go!”

Trotec needed a smart, flexible and affordable cobot that’s compatible with its SpeedMarker laser marking machines.

The SpeedMarker range runs the company’s proprietary SpeedMark software which is designed around maximum productivity. This gives operators the ability to create simple marking files, add dynamic data and graphics or create fully customised applications for integrated automation.

Ideal solution

The SpeedMarker 700 is part of Trotec’s industrial galvo workstation range. It’s a mid-sized machine available with either a fibre or CO² laser source, designed for precision high speed direct marking.

For this project, the key was to integrate the i4L robot into the SM700 laser workstation. So, the size and configuration had to be right.

OMRON and Trotec’s application engineers worked closely together to integrate the software and hardware.

“In this case very little modification was required, says Mark. “By simply moving the T slot table to one side we were able to create enough space for both the blank and finished plates.

“And by adjusting the position of the laser head the robot slotted in without a problem. We also added a small air pump so the whole system is completely stand alone.

“Trotec’s philosophy is to only design solutions that we can fully support and that integrate with the laser in a seamless way.

“In collaboration with OMRON we were able to design a solution that not only met the customers brief but gave us a product that we could release to the wider market.”

High-quality products

Mark says uptime and reliability are vital when working with customers that require high volume throughput.

“So, we have to be sure that whoever we work with provides only high-quality products and has the expertise to support them.

“OMRON ticked all these boxes – their product range is extensive which means we can now work with a single supplier across a range of automated solutions.

“In this case, the i4L robot allowed us to develop a high speed, extremely accurate automatic plate change solution which is contained within the laser workstation. It means the door can remain closed while 100’s of plates are marked.

“OMRON’s assistance and technical support during development and integration proved that they stand by their products and that they share our vision to only provide high quality reliable solutions.

“We now have system that can be easily adapted to suit a wide range of products. It is suited to many different applications, is extremely reliable, fast, seamless and cost effective.”

Why choose OMRON i4L

“The OMRON i4L robot proved a more reputable, flexible and affordable way to achieve our goals than designing a custom plate-changing mechanism for our machine,” says Mark.

“The increased throughput and productivity the i4L brings to our machine makes the ROI calculation so simple.

“We’re impressed by the quality, ease of integration and affordability of the OMRON i4L.

“And OMRON’s local support really made the integration process easy for us.”

Learn more about OMRON’s cutting edge i4L robot here

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