Vibratory Bowl with Multi-position Escapement

The Bellco team designed this small parts vibratory feeder for an automated robotic application.

  • Industry: Consumer Products
  • Rate: 20 parts per minute
  • Hopper Capacity: 6 hours unattended run time
  • Components: Vibratory Bowl Feeder with Hopper, Vibratory In Line Track, and Custom Multi-position Escapement

About The Project

A custom integrator approached Bellco with a unique challenge. They required a specialized parts feeding solution for their ongoing project. Specifically, they sought a bowl feeder that could feed small button inserts into an escapement for a robot to pick from.

Given the size and nature of the part, Bellco's team was tasked with designing a system that could accommodate the small button inserts and integrate seamlessly with the integrator's robotic system.

 

About The Project Image-1

Bellco's engineering team encountered several challenges during the project: 

1. Bowl Feeder: Designing a bowl that could orient the small button inserts with the head facing upwards was essential. 

2. Linear Track: The linear track needed to be long enough to reach the escapement and required the correct drive mechanism to achieve the desired frequency and voltage.

3. Hopper: The integrator required a hopper capable of holding enough inserts to sustain continuous operation for a 6-hour runtime. 

4. Escapement: Bellco was tasked with designing a 4-position motor-driven escapement that would interface effectively with the integrator's pick and place robot. 

 


How we approached arising challenges: 

Bowl Feeder

A 10-inch stainless steel bowl was developed, equipped with precision-bent stainless steel tracks to orient the button inserts correctly. Additionally, a custom anti-corrosion and wear-resistant coating were applied to enhance durability. 

Bowl Feeder-1

Linear Track

A 24-inch linear track made of 4140 prehard steel was added to the system, engineered to allow smooth passage of the button inserts from the bowl to the escapement.

Linear Track

Hopper

A large-capacity hopper capable of holding 10,000 button inserts was designed to ensure uninterrupted operation throughout the day.

Hopper

Escapement

After extensive design and testing, Bellco's engineers created a 4-position motor-driven escapement that seamlessly integrated with the integrator's robotic system. 

Escapement-1

Key features our team included to ensure proper functionality:

Sensors: Various sensors were strategically placed throughout the system to optimize performance. 

Hopper Sensors: Two fiber optic sensors in the hopper provided visual cues to operators, indicating when parts were running low or when the hopper was adequately stocked. 

Bowl Leveling Sensor: A leveling sensor inside the bowl communicated with the hopper drive, ensuring the correct amount of parts were in the bowl to maintain the desired feeding rate.

Linear Track Sensors: Full track sensors were installed along the linear track to control the bowl's operation, ensuring it turned off when the track was full and resumed once parts cleared the sensors. 

Escapement Sensors: Eight fiber optic sensors were integrated into the 4-position motor-driven escapement, detecting when inserts were present in each position. 

Results

Bellco successfully designed and implemented a custom parts feeding solution that met the integrator's unique requirements.

The team at Bellco overcame various technical challenges and integrating advanced sensor technology, Bellco delivered a high-performance system capable of sustained operation in a tight space, ultimately enhancing the efficiency of the integrator's project.

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