Software-Controlled Component Feeder
Original Publication Date: 1987-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
To ensure reliable high speed feeding of components to a manufacturing station or cell, all reject components must be removed. A vibratory bowl feeder uses opto-electric gates controlled by software to detect out-of-tolerance components which are rejected. These reject components are tracked by a control system so that on arrival at an eject station, they may be removed by an air jet. High volume, low cost and defect-free manufacturing require automated assembly cells with very high reliability levels. If component conformance to specification is maintained at 99.9%, then several components per hour can create a system fault. Fig. 1 shows a vibratory bowl feeder with stations 1 to 4 checking component tolerance, station 5 ejecting, station 6 preventing jams, and station 7 checking the component flow of reject-free components.