URCap enables control of multiple FlexiBowls at same time
The FlexiBowl automatic bulk parts feeder from RARUK Automation allows families of parts to be fed into the assembly process, regardless of their shape, fragility, material composition, weight and surface characteristics. Several new developments are now set to widen the application scope of this system and the first is a specific URCap for FlexiBowl.
URCap is a platform upon which shortcuts can be introduced that enable Universal Robots from RARUK Automation to work with accessories on many 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,” says the company.
This plug-and-play URCap is designed to control multiple FlexiBowls at the same time and said to be is ideal for manufacturers whose production involves frequent product changeovers and reduced volumes. RARUK Automation has also introduced a new model to its FlexiBowl range. It's the FB200, now the smallest in the series, 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, replacing 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. RARUK Automation 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 is achieved. A vision system can then locate them and generate co-ordinates for robot picking.
FlexiBowl quick empty feature
Also new is the FlexiBowl quick empty feature. “This is another valuable option for just-in-time operation and small batch sizes,” adds RARUK Automation. “Available on models FB500, 650 and 800, this feature 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 above.
Other options to boost FlexiBowl productivity now include multiple parts feeding and FlexiTrack, “an innovative feature that increases 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 Automation 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.