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Rotating Drum Feeder Success Story

A major laboratory approached us about a medical device that required the feeding of pre-formed flexible plastic tubes.

looking through rotating drum with automated system behind it

challenge

The plastic tubes were approximately 150 mm in length and needed feeding at a rate of 44 parts per minutes without any interruptions—and typically in a 24-7 assembly line.

We took the sample parts and tested different vibratory bowl feeders. During the tests it became evident that these tubes were not suitable to be fed with a traditional vibratory bowl feeder. The shape of the pre-formed tubes meant that they would entangle. Also, because the flexibility of the soft plastic absorbed the vibration this prevented the part from advancing.

Additional restrictions in space and budget pointed to the need to find an alternate solution.

APPROACH

The Rotating Drum Feeder was ideally suited to meet this challenge. The accurate design of the holding brackets on the vanes built inside the Rotating Drum could hold the tubes gently in the right angle as the drum rotated. Later they could be dropped at the right point and with the right acceleration. This allowed them to fall on the linear track with the correct orientation to be transported to the pick and place.

RESULT

We met all of our customer's budget and technical requirements for the success of the assembly line installation.