This custom conveyor system was retro-fitted to a vibratory feeder bowl to accommodate a part change that required a secondary inspection operation. The system consisted of a pair of Auto-Kinetics belt conveyors with custom tooling to maintain part orientation, and a 3-position shuttle mechanism between the conveyors.
Parts exiting the vibratory bowl fed into the first conveyor. An escapement metered a single part into the shuttle while in the left position, where a customer-supplied camera inspected the part for the proper seating of an internal washer. If the part was bad, the shuttle cycled to the center position, where a pneumatic cylinder pushed the part into a reject bin. If the part was good, the shuttle cycled to the right position, where a second pneumatic cylinder pushed the part onto the second conveyor, which fed into the customer’s automatic assembly operation.
The system included photoelectric sensors to detect full conveyors, a photoelectric sensor to detect a part in place in the shuttle mechanism, proximity sensors to detect the shuttle in each position, and sensors on the escapement to detect its position. All sensor and valve cables were wired into a junction box for the customer to interface with their control system.
This photo shows a part in the left position of the shuttle after the escapement finger has lowered, allowing the customer’s camera to view the part for inspection.
This short video demonstrates a part in the shuttle after the escapement finger has lowered, allowing camera to view and inspect the part.
Custom Conveyor System specifications
- Feed rate: 40 parts per minute
- Conveyors (2):
- Auto-Kinetics Model 55 Standard Duty belt conveyors, 40mm wide x 36″ long
- Standard center drive modules, 1/6 HP motors, 130V DC variable speed, with PF-11 DCPM motor controllers (110V AC input)
- Custom part confinement tooling
- Custom table mount stands
- Custom-tooled shuttle mechanism:
- Side shuttle: 3-position pneumatic linear slide with shock absorbers and custom tooling
- Escapement to control part flow from infeed conveyor into shuttle: Pneumatic escapement with custom tooling
- Pusher mechanisms to eject good/bad parts: Pneumatic cylinders with custom tooling
- Sensors and valves provided:
- Air solenoid valve package to supply air to slide, escapement and cylinders
- Photoelectric sensors on each conveyor to detect when the conveyors are full of parts
- Photoelectric sensor on shuttle mechanism to detect when a part is positioned in the shuttle nest
- Proximity sensors (3) to detect shuttle at left (infeed conveyor), center (bad part reject) and right (good part eject to exit conveyor) positions
- Position sensors (2) integrated into escapement to indicate when each finger is extended or retracted
- All sensors and valves wired to terminals in junction box for the customer to interface with their control system