A robotic industry customer emphasized two implementations that the feeder must hit by the end of its creation. It needed to be a multi-product feeder where it allowed them to feed wrapped spoons, sunflower seeds, packaged chips, cheese sticks, snack bars, crackers, meat sticks, and much more. The other implementation was that the feeder needed to be robotically compatible. The customer requested that the parts have enough spacing between each other to allow the robotic picker a sufficient amount of time to operate.
The School Lunch Kit Feeder is specifically used for singulation of a product because the robotic picker will pick up the part regardless of its orientation. This feeder utilizes adjustable height qualifiers and running surfaces that are able to run just about any product. The adjustable height qualifier ensures the parts are singulated no matter their size, while the adjustable running surface allows for multiple parts with varying widths to be run through the system. With this feeder being so adaptable, it was our goal to give the machine features that allow it to run as smooth as possible.
The School Lunch Kit Feeder comes equipped with features such as the system purge gate and a part spacing procedure. The system purge gate helps rid malfunctioning parts that cycle through the machine. If there is a part that is malfunctioning, the purge gate blow off, blows the part through the purge gate without having to turn the machine off. If there wasn’t a system purge gate, the malfunctioning parts would be recirculated back into the system until fixed.
The part spacing procedure is two sensors that monitor the part rate and create spacing between products to prevent the robotic picker from being overwhelmed. When multiple parts are blocking the sensors an air jet fires knocking the back part off and creating at least a three second separation between parts. This gives the robotic picker enough time to pick the product up and place it in its intended spot, then reset itself to pick the next piece that is being discharged from the machine.
An additional option to this system would be a prefeeder. This particular system has a 32 cubic foot prefeeder that allows the system to run 30 to 60 minutes without the need for reloading parts. Another option for this feeder is conveyor integration, we offer a range of different conveyors as well as belt types that can fit the demand of various part types.
Related Topics: Centrifugal Feeders