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Flexible feeders enable different components on a production line to be identified and orientated for placement into the next processing stage. Typically, components are loaded into a hopper which is then fed to a vibrating platform or rotating disc. The system uses intelligent 2D vision to identify the components and communicates to a robot system to pick and place them.
Components that are not orientated the correct way up, and thus not visible to the vision, are vibrated or flipped within the cycle to re-orientate for identification by the vision camera. The control system identifies the volume within the system and releases more components from the hopper to match the line feed requirements.
The advantage of flexible feeders over traditional bowl feeders is that multiple parts can be fed at the same time and new part variations can be introduced without changing tooling. Furthermore, colour recognition can also be incorporated.
Use our Machine Finder to locate a feeder supplier for you.