Robotics in the manufacturing industry has changed the way we make our things as a society. From programmed welders on car assembly lines to palletizing robots at the end of a packaging line, robotics are becoming more and more involved in our manufacturing processes. Hoosier Feeder Company wanted to supplement the steady increase of their use and offer a parts handling machine that was optimized for use with robots. After spending time in various manufacturing plants using the growing technology, we found our opportunity and are excited to present the Hoosier Feeder Company Flex Feeder.
The HFC Flex Feeder is made up of 3 primary components: Vibratory distribution hopper, presentation conveyor, and recirculating elevator. The system presents evenly distributed parts along a backlit belt for robotic detection and picking while gently recirculating parts through a closed-loop conveyor/elevator system. One advantage of using robotics is their movement speed and flexibility regarding how they pick parts. That flexibility allows us to shift our focus from part orientation to part distribution and presentation on the picking conveyor. The result is an incredibly robust and easy to integrate parts handling system.
One great advantage to the HFC Flex Feeder is its scalability. As the parts size or picking rate increases so does the size and functionality of the flex feeder. We can adjust the size and feed rate of each component of the system to precisely fit your application so that your picking robots can operate optimally. We also have multiple options for part detection. The method we find to be most reliable is backlighting the conveyor using a translucent belt so that a vision system can analyze part orientation. The other prominent option would be to present the parts on a more standard belt so that all lighting and inspection happens from above the conveyor. Whatever your preferred method – Hoosier Feeder Company can design a system around your needs.