Clothes Hanger Manufacture

Very rarely do any of us consider where the hanger which holds our clothes was manufactured, or how it was made? Nor do many of us realise that this product is manufactured in its millions annually, throughout the world.
Plastic injection moulded clothes hangers.
When db automation was approached by a major US plastic injection moulding firm, these questions became the foundations of the design brief for the automation of the manufacturing system for plastic clothes hangers.

Within the design specification, other key elements included:
  • Mould tool would produce 16 + 16 impressions on a stack tool design.
  • A 650 tonne injection moulding press would be used.
  • Total machine cycle time must not exceed 14 seconds.
  • Mould ‘take-out’ time must be no greater than 2 seconds.
  • 6 minute cooling time required, prior to packing by hand.
  • The system must be unloaded manually; hence operator safety must be a consideration.

db automation’s expertise and experience in the plastic injection moulding market ensured that we were ideally placed and well equipped to fully design and build the automated system for this client.
By calling on common philosophies for machinery design and build, we set about fulfilling the design specification every step of the way.

High Speed ‘take-out’ Robot.

High speed side entry robot
The high speed side entry robot consisted of a linear axis supported on a rigid structure mounted back to the floor. The axis was mounted in line with the central stack of the mould to minimise the mass and maximises the stiffness of the moving elements.

This general philosophy can be seen across any number of the hundreds of installations which are attributed to our brand. Key elements of the robot include:
  • Linear axis driven by a high performance brushless servo motor system .
  • Arms manufactured from carbon fibre tube and aluminium – low mass, high stiffness, thin for small tool opening stroke.
  • Small, pneumatic Y stroke to interface with the tool ejection.
  • Components held by silicone vacuum suction cups.

Take-off Station.
Take-off station

The take-off modules will take the 16 hangers from each arm of the robot, rotate them through 90 degrees so they are horizontal and lower them onto the pallet.

Pallet Conveyor.

The pallet conveyor consists of 2 horizontal beds that pallets are simply pushed along. One path is below the other so there is an elevator at each end to transfer the pallets from one path to the other.

All movements of the pallets are by virtue of a servo driven belt, which engages in the pallet plates for transport. The pallet is capable of holding up to 16 layers of product, each with 16 parts per layer.
Pallet conveyor

Operator Unload Area.

After the product has completed the desired cooling period, the full pallet is returned to the elevator at the operator position. Here, the operator enters a safety protected area which prohibits pallet movement, and unloads the product from the pallet.

Operator unload area, showing elevator

The automation integrates alongside the injection moulding press, and completes the manufacturing process in 1 distinct cell.

Following this success of the first installation in 2002, our client proceeded to purchase 3 further systems, and more recently another 2 further cells to keep up with demand, all of which are in full production to this day.

Unit 7 Wycliffe Industrial Park,
LE17 4HG. United Kingdom