RARUK Automation introduces new flexible feeders

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RARUK Automation has launched the latest model of its bulk parts feeder, the FlexiBowl, and a platform which enables Universal Robots (UR) systems to work with accessories on different tasks.

The new, FlexiBowl URCap connects the feeder and the UR controller enabling applications to be set-up via the UR Teach Pendant.  It’s a simple and reliable way to create a dedicated solution without the need for time-consuming programming, according to RARUK.

This plug-and-play URCap is designed to control multiple FlexiBowls at the same time and is ideal for manufacturers whose production involves frequent product changeovers and reduced volumes, it can be viewed in the above video.

RARUK has also introduced a new model to its FlexiBowl range, the FB200, the smallest in the series, is for part sizes from 1-10mm, weighing 30g. The largest model is for parts from 60 – 250mm, weighing 250g.  Entire families of parts can be handled by a single FlexiBowl, as it is built to replace the need for a whole set of dedicated vibratory bowl feeders.

FlexiBowl separates and orientates the parts through the movement produced by a rotary disc and flip unit.  The company stock a wide range of interchangeable standard discs in different colours, sizes, textures and degrees of surface adhesion to suit the application; custom discs are also available.

By adjusting the acceleration, deceleration, speed, angle and impulse frequency, optimal parts distribution can be achieved.  A vision system can then locate them and generate co-ordinates for robot picking.

Furthermore, the FlexiBowl now has a quick empty feature, available on models FB500, 650 and 800, this solution eliminates the need for manual handling by lowering a panel in the side wall of the bowl so separated parts are automatically ejected from the FlexiBowl. See how this works in the video below.

Additionally, the FlexiTrack feature is a new tool to allow for multiple parts feeding, designed to increase the flexibility, modularity and productivity of the system by up to 100%.

Multiple hoppers allow each sector on a multi-sector disc to be filled with different components. The camera-controlled bulk feeder only drops the parts into the sectioned disc when they are needed, an operation which works simultaneously with robot picking to save time.  Four- and three-sector discs are now available from RARUK for picking two or three different parts respectively.

FlexiTrack enables the circular conveyor tracking to achieve a faster feed rate and includes a second camera.  The combination boosts pick rates from an average 40 – 50 parts per minute to between 70 – 90 parts per minute.

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