Value & Vision - Efficiency Tips & Tricks For Feeder Bowls

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Value & Vision
Efficiency Tips & Tricks
Quarterly Article Series
Q1 2010

Quick Changeover For Feeding Multiple Parts

18" Diameter Adjustable Height Vibratory Bowl
Motorized vertical control adjusts table running
surface between 38" & 48" for quick changeovers.

Check out for more insight.
Handling multiple parts with the same feeder bowl? No, but you are thinking about it? Read on… considering thousands of dollars per day in production time can be lost during machine changeover, it could save your company time and money.

Manufacturers of high-volume products have influenced a growing trend in the parts handling industry. Since they are offering consumers a larger variety of product styles and sizes, to keep operating expenses down many expect to feed and assemble their variety of products using the same machine. Although, accommodating multiple parts using a single parts feeding system is generally possible to accomplish, ensuring operational reliability and quick tooling changeover can prove to be a developmental challenge.

How can changeover time be lessened?

In an effort to assist our customers with quick and accurate changeover, we use tooling techniques and publish thorough operating manuals so an operator can easily accomplish a fool-proof changeover. For example, when feeding five different sizes of bottle caps, we avoid the use of slotted holes for adjustments; and instead, we employ five set of holes marked “1 – 5”. When the operator is ready to feed part “3” for instance, the changeover is as easy as removing the fasteners from all the holes marked “1” and securing them in holes marked “3”. Then the tooling is positioned to handle part “3”.

Depending on the parts being fed, we also use interchangeable tooling that is pre-set for a particular part. Simply by swapping out this tooling, a company can save valuable time and ensure part handling accuracy. Tool-less changeover can also be achieved through the use of “T” handles, plastic knobs, and spring-loaded single lever handles.

Another option is the use of interchangeable bowls which mount on a common vibratory drive unit. Each bowl is dedicated to one part or a family of related parts. Completely changing out the bowls is found to be a quick and simple solution as well. Tab mounted bowls are offered for perfect alignment of interchangeable bowls when using compatible tracks.

We offer options for vertically or horizontally adjustable table tops
for products requiring different discharge coordinates. We have used the vertical style when feeding one size/style of a bottle cap to a bottle capper with multiple height bottles. This innovative concept can be accomplished with an electric motor by the push of a button or can be operated with a ratchet handle or hand crank. Either way, changeover time will be minimal.

Dual concept bowls are sometimes preferable when parts are dissimilar enough to prevent a single tooling concept that would work for both. With this type of bowl, the varieties of parts are individually diverted to feed through their specific orienting tooling. Then they are usually merged into a common bowl discharge.

As you have read, there are several solutions you can use to feed multiple parts. To possibly save time and money for your company in the future, when you speak to your Project Manager, be sure to specify a targeted changeover time if required. If we are aware of your changeover expectations, the degree of quick changeover features can be increased to meet the need, helping you find a way to increase production efficiency and contribute to the company’s bottom line.

Stay tuned for our next e-newsletter for more tips and tricks to make your operation run more smoothly. To request future topics for the Value & Vision Article Series, email the editor.

Vibratory Feeder Bowl Service Engineering   Feeder Bowl Tips Article Archive

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