A Tier 1 Automotive supplier had a major bottleneck in their manufacturing line due to having to add two different wave washers to their assembly process. In order to meet production requirements, they had to place two operators at the station.
This resulted in additional costs and assembly rejects. This supplier had purchased a feeder from another supplier which failed to supply a feeder system that would feed the parts without jamming. They were told by the feeder company that this type of wave washer could not be fed due to the design of the part. A search by one of the engineers came across Vibromatic Company who has been a leader in the parts handling business since 1956.
After a plant visit to Vibromatic and discussions with team members, they were confident that the two Wave Washers could be oriented by Vibromatic. The Vibromatic Engineering Team worked very closely with the customer to ensure the project would be successful. The major challenges of this project was to feed two different wave washers and have one of each parts ready to pick on fairly close centerlines every 5 seconds. The key to feeding these types of wave washers is that you cannot back them up in a conventional inline track. The solution was to get a single washer to feed from the bowl and into a pocket nest so the robot could pick only one part as needed. As you can see from the project photos we had two opposing rotation bowls mounted on a common plate so that the pick nests were on the correct centers for the pick.
After the successful acceptance run off at Vibromatic, the customer took delivery and installed the Vibromatic feeder system and has been running automatically in production for over three years without issue. After this positive experience, this customer has since made Vibromatic their specified vendor for parts handling equipment.
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