Adept Automation Ltd
Bowl Feeders, Component Feeding Automation
Adept Automation is a leading designer and manufacturer of handling techniques and systems, to every section of industry, providing automatic parts handling equipment for high volume production in cosmetics, pharmaceutical, electronics and metal working industries - anywhere, where there is a need to automate the handling and orientation of component parts.
Systems supplied can include single and multiple Vibratory feeders, conveyors and elevators, bowl feeders, belt conveyors/elevators, baggers, vision systems, assembly machines, pick and place systems and many more.
We have expert knowledge in:-
- Component Feeding
- Vibratory Bowl Feeders
- Conveyor Feed Systems
- Bulk Handling Equipment
- Acoustic Enclosures
- Automated Feed Systems
- Assembly Equipment
- Vision Systems
Through our website you will find technical information on the following:-
- Drive Mechanisms
- Bowl Tops
- Linear Drives
- Control Units
- Bowl Feeders
Our bowl tops are manufactured from either stainless steel or cast aluminium and in both cases, stainless steel tooling is used to give high resistance to wear and if necessary hardened materials are fitted.
Where product marking or friction drive may be a problem, various lining materials are available. We also offer linings to food and pharmaceutical standards.
Adept Automation has developed a range of vibratory linear feeders which will accommodate a tooled track from 100mm to 750mm in length (depending on size and weight of the part), and where the primary function is to transport already orientated components in the horizontal plane. Longer track lengths can be achieved by mounting linear drivers in tandem or using a series of units.These feeders are used in addition to a bowl feeder; thereby keeping the bowl fill-height level at a minimum and allowing easy access. They also provide buffer storage, allowing the bowl feeder (via a sensing device fitted to the linear track) to be switched off for a period of time. This is not only an advantage when feeding delicate components, but can also help reduce noise problems, as the feeder is not running continuously. The addition of a sensing device in the linear track also prevents components queuing back into the bowl feeder, thus preventing potential jamming. A linear feeder also provides consistent drive to the components in the track, thus allowing the leading part to be driven into a dead nest or an escapement for subsequent handling.
Vibration Control Units
Each linear feeder is supplied with a control unit for speed adjustment, but standard dual control units can be supplied for operating a bowl feeder and linear feeder together, incorporating inbuilt sensing to control the head of parts into the linear track and stop/start the bowl feeder on demand
Where extra heavy components are to be fed or a very consistent amplitude is necessary, we offer a control system which includes a transducer fitted to the drive unit, which measures and controls the amplitude to the required setting, irrespective of weight and current fluctuations.
The MFS range of controllers are digitally controlled variable frequency units, they generate a smooth output waveform, which is independent of the input frequency. The standard unit has an input for a PNP sensor for track control and versions for use with an accelerometer for constant feed rate are available.
We have an example of a system that shows two vibratory bowl feeders, each with 12 tracks feeding end to end into two 12 track linear feeders. At the termination of the linear tracks, two special escapements remove the 12 leading pin, and lift them vertically to a horizontal press position.Situated centrally between the two linear tracks is a stepper drive system which carries a holder, onto which an operator loads two mould blocks. After loading the operator initiates the cycle and the two mould blocks are transferred to the first loading position where the first 12 pins are inserted into each block. The second two sets of 12 pins are escaped and positioned, and when the two mould blocks are stepped into position, the pins are inserted. This cycle is repeated 5 times until all 60 pins are pressed home into each of the two mould blocks. The block carrier then returns automatically to the operator position, where the completed blocks are removed and replaced by two empty blocks, and a new cycle is initiated. Insert feed system
An M3 and M5 Knurled insert were fed from two 225mm diameter stainless steel bowl feeders. Each feeder tooled to orientate the inserts in the correct orientation for robot pickup. The inserts were transfered into a twin length of linear powered tracking, driven by a single linear drive unit. At the termination of the tracks, two slide escapements remove the leading parts and present the inserts at the correct pitch to enable a robotic handling unit, to pickup both inserts together. Sensors are fitted to ensure two inserts have been correctly presented. We develope bespoke feed automation systems
Vibratory bulk storage hoppers are used to load parts into a bowl feeder, giving large storage capacities and providing several hours running time. The hoppers can also be used to trickle-feed awkward components (i.e. components that easily tangle) into bowl feeders, therefore increasing feed rates and efficiency from the feeder. These units are best applied when the bowl feeder is situated at comparatively low level. Various sizes of hopper are available, to suit most bulk storage needs.Where our standard range of hoppers can not be utilised, due to either floor layout constraints or loading capacities, then special units can be manufactured. These units can be of virtually any shape of size, and either manufactured from standard materials or to pharmaceutical specifications.
Elevating Hopper Loaders
Used to load heavy (or where appropriate light) parts to bowl feeders that because of design layout parameters are situated at a high level. The storage bin is floor mounted and therefore at a low convenient level for refilling. The storage bin can be either static or driven by vibration or a conveyor belt and these options are selected according to the components handling characteristics.
If customer product is handled in tote pans, this unique loader offers many advantages. The tote pans are loaded through a conveniently situated low level loading door and after closing the door, the pan is elevated by a lifting platform and tipped into a high level bulk hopper of approximately 50 litres capacity. The bulk hopper is driven by vibration and when signalled from the level control in the bowl feeder, will trickle feed product into the feeder until the correct level is reached. After the tote pan has been emptied, it is returned to the loading position. To ensure complete control, a safety switch is fitted to the access door, which inhibits operation if the door is opened and high and low level sensors are fitted to the bulk hopper, which prevents over filling and triggers a light beacon for replenishment. This loader has the following advantages: Reduces operator-lifting strain. Easily handles difficult parts, which cause jamming, or bridging in conventional loaders. Being a vertical machine it takes less floor space.
Our range of acoustic hoods has been designed to reduce noise level of vibratory bowl feeders running on noisy products by approximately 10 - 15 dB(A). The hoods are manufactured from sturdy fiberglass in two sections - both of which are split through the centreline for easy removal. The bottom section surrounds the drive unit and is bolted to the feeder stand, whereas the top section encloses the bowl and is secured onto the bottom section. Both sections are fastened by quick release catches for quick and easy removal.
An aperture is in the top of the cover to provide access into the feeder for loading purposes. If the feeder is hand loaded, a polycarbonate lid is provided, but if automatic loading is specified, via either a bulk storage hopper or an elevating hopper loader, the aperture is closed with rubber fingers or similar, as appropriate. We also design and manufacture special acoustic enclosures to suit design or layout parameters, which preclude the standard covers, for example where space is a problem, or for a multiple of feeders which are positioned very close together