A robotic tape applicator is a machine that applies adhesive tapes to products or surfaces. This type of automated solution is increasing in popularity across many industries for its ability to improve precision, consistency, and quality. It also helps reduce product losses from human error by ensuring the right amount of product is applied every time.

Innovative Automation has developed a new robotic tape application called RoboTape, which offers new possibilities and solves challenges faced in the past with other robotic solutions. RoboTape is a comprehensive system for feeding & dispensing adhesive-backed foams, felts and attachment tapes. It is designed for seamless integration with existing systems or into new stand alone cells, offers a flying spool change to facilitate continuous production, and can handle complex geometry and contours.

The robotic tape applicator comprises a (tape application head) and a tape dispenser (bulk spool feeding system) and can be mounted to most robotic arms to complete the automated solution. The arm moves over the surface via detailed path programming, and applies the tape with precision and accuracy. In addition to speeding up the application process, the RoboTape System offers consistent and reliable tape applications, increased up time, and reduced waste.

It can be programmed to apply a specific length and width of the tape to a multitude of surfaces, contours, and positional or intended locations. Ensuring the application is precise every time, helps eliminate inconsistencies with manual tape application, leading to a more professional and streamlined result.

How Do Robotic Tape Applicators Work?

Robotic tape applicators use a combination of advanced robotics, dispensing automation, and software to apply adhesive tape to products or surfaces. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how a tape dispensing robot works with different types of adhesive materials:

  • Tape selection: The appropriate adhesive backed foam or felt tape is chosen for the task or specific part design requirements. This can include different types of adhesives, widths, and lengths. Learn more about selecting industrial tapes.
  • Preparation: The material is converted or presented to the system by being spooled onto a Level Wound Spool manufactured to specific dimensions to fit the Payout system. This is done by a separate company that has expertise in this field, but the spool is a crucial element to the dispensing process and is the starting point of the application.
  • Tape dispensing: The robotic arm that carries the tape applicator, moves over the tooled part, and applies the material with precision and accuracy. The tape dispenser is equipped with a built-in pneumatic cutting device that is programmed to cut the tape at a specific length to reduce product waste.
  • Feedback and adjustments: The robotic tape applicator uses PLC programming to monitor the tape application process, and can be adjusted accordingly to meet the rigorous demands of high quality, tight tolerances, and fine move adjustments. If the application, or specific part geometry requires a design fit and finish based on the material or part spec, the RoboTape system has the capability to be programmed to support these details.
  • Quality control: Finally, the applicator is capable of applying a controlled force to the material after it has been applied to the part surface to ensure proper adhesion is made. This design purpose feature is monitored to ensure constant force is applied.

Robotic tape applicators offer a fast, efficient, and consistent method for applying adhesive tape. By automating this process, businesses can save time and money while improving the quality of their manufacturing process.

The Business Benefits of Manufacturing Automation

Robotic tape applicators are a small but vital part of the manufacturing process; integration of a RoboTape system into existing lines can solve many of these challenges and open the way to increased production capacity. Finding ways to overcome manual process blockers is an essential consideration for any manufacturing organization looking to stay competitive. Finding ways to integrate new methods of manufacturing should be on every company’s business growth plan. Business experts like Forbes have long predicted that manufacturing automation will act as a catalyst for increased productivity, effectiveness and growth. By way of training employees, and gaining company buy-in to new tech and processes, and a focus on streamlining, automation will soon be a manufacturer’s top priority.

3M and Innovative Automation have partnered to create a robotic tape system to automate key bonding applications in manufacturing. We can now offer businesses increased accuracy and efficiency, decreased consumables and labour costs, consistent and increased productivity, and enhanced customer satisfaction. With so many advantages, it’s easy to understand why tape automation is becoming an industry standard in manufacturing. By investing in this technology, you can position your business for greater success and profitability in the long run.

For more information, check out the RoboTape™ System for 3M™ Tape and Innovative Automation’s collaboration to help customers automate key bonding applications with their robotic tape systems. This system includes 3M’s range of tapes and adhesives and Innovative Automation’s robotic technology for tape automation. It is designed to help customers increase their production speeds, reduce waste, and improve the quality of their products.

RoboTape & IA Group Of Companies

RoboTape is part of the Innovative Automation Group of Companies, a long-trusted name in the manufacturing automation industry. With 30+ years of design and build experience, we manufacture at the highest quality standards in our world-class Canadian facilities.

To learn more, contact RoboTape.