Elscint Automation, a vibratory bowl feeder manufacturer, recently manufactured a counting & dispensing system for ear plugs. The requirement was to count and dispense 12 ear plugs at a time (12 times a minute).
These 12 ear plugs had to be packed in a single box. Previously this was done manually, and resulted in mistakes on the part of the operator whereby either short or extra ear plugs were packed. To resolve this problem, Elscint offered a vibratory counting and dispensing system.
In this equipment a set number of ear plugs is always dispensed on pressing of a foot switch. Additionally, dispensing can also be activated by sensing the hand of the operator collecting the ear plugs. This ensures the operator receives the required number of ear plugs for packing. The chances of mistakes by incorrect counting of the ear plugs is eliminated, as the required number of ear plugs are dispensed to the operator's hand and further dispensing does not take place until all these ear plugs are packed.
This system is very useful for all such types of packing requirements. The equipment comes with a stand, dispensing chute with bin, and electrical and pneumatic controls. There is an additional sensor on the dispensing chute which switches off the vibratory feeder when the chute is full. This ensures that when the operator is not present, or the packing line is not working for some reason, the operator does not have to switch off the entire system. Once the foot pedal or button is pressed, or the operator's hand introduced for collection, the cycle restarts automatically.
Poka yoke is also provided to ensure that in the case where there are insufficient or no ear plugs to dispense, dispensing does not take place even after pressing the foot pedal / button / hand signal. The number of ear plugs which need to be dispensed in one lot can be changed by the operator, in case the requirement changes in the future. Please follow the link to see a video of the counting and dispensing system.