When it comes to parts handling systems for OEMs, automation seems to have monopolized this task. However, this is not entirely true. There are still a number of companies that still utilize traditional parts feeding methods.
Irrespective of whether you are using traditional methods or automated parts handling systems, one thing is certain, parts orientation is extremely important to ensure that the assembly line runs smoothly, efficiently, and completes production to a certain global standard. Even with new technology, getting the right part at the right place and time is a task that manufacturing engineers deal with on a daily basis.
Techniques to Increase Parts Feeding Productivity You can use these techniques to improve the productivity of your parts feeding process.
- Part Rejection and Recirculation: This is one of the simplest positioning methods. A system can reject a part that is not correctly oriented and recirculate it back into the system.
- Raising the Nest: The pocket at the end of the inline feeder is called a nest. Pneumatic cylinders can be used to raise the nest and recirculate a part that is not properly oriented.
- Separating a Part from the Component Group: Pneumatic cylinders and a nest can also be used to shove and isolate a part away from the group of components on the assembly line. Also, an optional tube can be used to blow the part away after isolation.
- Using a Dead Nest Section: Inline feeders commonly utilize this method. The vibratory action of the parts feeder isolates the disoriented part to the side, and the other components on the line push it into the nest. When the part has stopped moving, it is picked up by a vacuum head.
- Slide and Cam: A single pneumatic cylinder can be installed along with a slide and a cam. These three components together create compound motion, which helps to push a part aside and out from the assembly line.
- Release and Blow: This method uses gravity to drop the part into a delivery tube. Air pressure is used to blow the part into a receiver. This method is known for its speed and positive placement.
Using these techniques, any OEM system can be optimized to a great extent.