In response to growing demand for a simple, competitively priced and flexible, automatic bulk parts feeding system, RARUK Automation has introduced, FlexiBowl®. It allows entire families of parts to be fed reliably into the assembly process and is ideal for manufacturers whose production involves frequent product changeovers and reduced volumes.
FlexiBowl is highly versatile and suitable for feeding a wide variety of parts regardless of their shape, fragility, material composition, weight and surface characteristics. They can be smooth, sticky, tangled or burred, yet FlexiBowl will feed the parts uniformly, effectively and, if required, continuously.
The working principle is very simple. FlexiBowl includes a rotating disk and an impulse generator; the disk itself is actuated by a servomotor that allows clockwise or anti-clockwise movement. When parts are released by the hopper, they fall onto the moving disc and are separated by the rotation and vibration. Acceleration, deceleration and impulse frequency are all selectable according to the part geometry to achieve the optimal result.
In a typical application, the parts are then located by a vision system mounted above the FlexiBowl which guides a robot to pick and place individual parts to an ongoing process. FlexiBowl is equipped with a variety of communication ports – Ethernet, Ethercat and digital i/o signals – for easy integration with the vision/robot systems.
The FlexiBowl is available in four different sizes with an inner diameter from 350mm to 800mm. Its rotating disk is made from standard conveyor belt material and is therefore easily replaceable; a choice of colours and materials are available to suit the application. An optional internal backlight is available in red, white or infrared LED.
A range of hoppers with standard 5, 10 and 20 litre capacity complete the FlexiBowl system; larger hoppers up to 80 litres or elevating trays may also be supplied. To see FlexiBowl in action go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVz0EiK1x-I