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1. (WO2018081946) AUTOMATED PROCESS FOR FABRICATING ORAL CARE IMPLEMENTS

Pub. No.:    WO/2018/081946    International Application No.:    PCT/CN2016/104335
Publication Date: Sat May 12 01:59:59 CEST 2018 International Filing Date: Thu Nov 03 00:59:59 CET 2016
IPC: B29C 45/70
A46D 3/00
Applicants: COLGATE-PALMOLIVE COMPANY
WANG, Peng
Inventors: WANG, Peng
XIA, Shiyong
XIE, Tao
Title: AUTOMATED PROCESS FOR FABRICATING ORAL CARE IMPLEMENTS
Abstract:
A system comprises a fully automated fabrication cell (20) for forming overmolded oral care implements. The cell (20) includes a cluster of process stations (21) including injection molding machines operable to first form oral care implement preforms and then overmold the preforms with an overlay to create fully formed oral care implement bodies. In one example, the overlay may be a flexible elastomeric or rubber material while the preform may comprise a more rigid plastic material. Transfer of the preforms and bodies between the process stations (21) is fully automated and performed by a computer-operated robot (40) having a jointed articulated arm. A grasping tool (60) disposed on an end of the arm (42) releasably engages and transports a plurality of preforms and/or bodies simultaneously. The tool provides two different methods for engaging and holding the toothbrush skeletons/bodies. A programmable controller (130) automatically controls the robotic arm (42)'s operation and movement.