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Step Feeder Success Story

A leading European manufacturer specializing in cleaning, testing and assembly technology, particularly for the areas of transmissions, engines and steering, needed three different diameter rings to feed a central converting machine.

blue stepfeeders with metal ring products

Challenge

Depending on the engine design the assembly (converting) machine would require a single type of ring; the feeding rate required was of 16 parts per minute. One of the difficulties of the process was the high cost of cleaning the rings because the rings came from another prior process that left high residues of lubricant.

Approach

Cleaning and drying the rings proved to be a costly proposition. Feeding the rings on a traditional vibratory bowl feeder was also not possible because the lubricant would cause the rings to adhere to the walls of the vibratory bowl preventing it from meeting the feeding rate over time, in addition to the accumulation at the bottom of the bowl.

This proved to be the perfect fit for a step feeder system, as the thickness of the moving plate remained constant. The same step feeder could be used for all three parts.

A set of twinned step feeders, positioned back to back fed the rings to a linear track of 1,500 mm. long. At the opposite end of the track the rings were dropped vertically onto a shaft of the central conversion machine.

Result

The pneumatic- driven, step feeder, proved to be the most economic solution. Additionally, the noise level, when compared to a vibratory bowl feeder, is lower and the foot print smaller. The customer was satisfied and felt more confident in our capabilities for additional projects.