Bowl Feeders Orient Housings for an Industrial Connector Assembly.
About The Project
An OEM building an automated machine for a customer in the industrial electrical wiring industry approached Bellco Feeders and requested a feeding system. The OEM needed to automatically sort and feed plastic housings, which are crucial to ensuring the integrity of an electrical connector assembly machine.
The main challenge the Bellco team faced during this project was that the housings were not symmetrical. One side had edges that could get stuck to other parts. Verifying the bowls were not overcrowded and that their vibrations were tuned correctly kept the parts from tangling.
Our engineers designed a hopper that accumulated 6,000 plastic housings and inner connectors. It automatically added more to help the bowls achieve an overall rate of 30 parts per minute. Moreover, each bowl had a shortage sensing that automatically shut off the bowl when the parts inventory became low. Simultaneously, a color stack indicator light would flash red to indicate the bowl needed more parts to be added by the operator into the bulk hopper. Therefore, once done - the bowl would return to operation.
The engineering team planned and executed two feeder bowls. One was for the housings (blue), which was handling them clockwise, and another for the inner connectors (white), which operated counterclockwise.
The linear feeders were unique because they vibrated in the same frequencies as well as the bowls to move the parts a little at a time down the linear tracks, which were parallel to one another in the final machine arrangement. Finally, the pieces moved into a custom-designed parts escapement where one at a time, an industrial pick-and-place robot singulated them for automatic removal.
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