This is an example of a flexible manufacturing cell concept that can be used for literally thousands of various assembly, packaging, and quality inspection applications. The first component that provides flexibility is the flex-feeder. Unlike a typical vibrating bowl feeder, the flex-feeder can accommodate virtually any shape and size of product. There is no need to change the bowl and escapement tooling between products, which saves a great deal of time when changing the run for a different product. You change only the robot and vision programs. This makes low volume, high mix product environments much more feasible for automatic processes.
The next component providing flexibility is the machine vision system. The vision system analyzes each part and captures the size, shape, color, and location data. It transfers that information to the robot, which then tracks the parts in real time. The robot then transfers each part to the work envelope, which can be an assembly, packaging, or quality inspection task. The last part being placed is the round part, which contains a radio frequency identification, or RFID chip. Each RFID chip triggers a unique snippet of music, representing the transfer of data from the workpiece to the cell controller, and then onto the company’s Supervisory Control, Data Acquisition, or SCADA network.
Adaptive Innovations Corp. specializes in flexible manufacturing technology and we will be happy to discuss your applications and ideas, on request. Our number is 303.362.0400. We can also be reached at email@example.com.