Productivity and Output are Increasing Dramatically — Are You in a Position to Remain Competitive?
It’s no secret that production is beginning to accelerate following a challenging 2020. In the February issue of FIA Magazine, we reported on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ quarterly measurement of labor productivity (non-farm). In the manufacturing sector, this “push for productivity” resulted in an astounding 19.9% annual rate increase, a 56.2% annual rate increase for output, and a 30.3% annual rate increase for total hours worked. The industry is most definitely back to work — and in many cases, playing catch-up from the 2020 slowdown.
With greater demand for productivity comes a greater need to reduce waste, streamline processes between the many steps of production, and become more efficient to maximize revenue and overall output. For companies that need to bulk feed bin parts, each second counts. Companies that rely on manual labor for unscrambling, singulating, loading, or otherwise moving parts from one machine or process to another are losing precious time while also incurring the cost and risk of assigning labor hours to work that can be automated.
And when it comes to automation, it’s not just about putting a machine in place to move parts from A to B. It’s also how that equipment integrates with the larger system of machines. For example, the complexity of control systems has increased dramatically, enabling feeding systems (which are historically some of the last machines to be added to a line) to play a more proactive and communicative role. Now, those control systems can interact with part feeding systems to increase the rate of feeding or take some new action needed to support production where it stands at that time.
Here, we’ll explore a few specific automated solutions that companies can use — and more importantly, customize — to bulk feed bin parts between different phases of production.
Two Automated Solutions to Help You Bulk Feed Bin Parts
Magazine feeders are one of the most flexible parts feeding solutions in that there are numerous configurations available based on your part size and loading needs. As their name indicates, these feeders use a magazine system to feed horizontally oriented materials into secondary operations, often processing up to 1,500 parts per hour.
There are several types of magazine feeders that support the need to bulk feed bin parts. These include cart-loaded (in reality, another kind of bin) magazine feeders, which use an agitator to move parts in the cart forward into the machine. While connecting the cart with the feeder is a manual process, the cart itself can contain a large number of parts in a single load, removing the need for manual loading and enabling workers to focus their time elsewhere while the feeder works its magic.
Another example of a magazine feeder that allows companies to bulk feed bin parts is a drop bottom bin loaded magazine feeder. Parts are loaded into the feeder via a forklift or other piece of equipment that can securely hold the bin in place. This configuration supports larger and even heavier part loads that can’t be handled manually in a cart or other bin. As long as the forklift or equipment can remain in place for feeding and isn’t needed elsewhere, this is an effective solution for companies to feed parts into the production cycle more efficiently.
At Feedall Automation, each of our magazine feeders is custom-designed to support your specific industrial automation needs. We begin with a standard chassis that is then modified for your parts, production environment, and overall feeding needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our customization process.
Robotic Bin Picking
Robotics are nothing new in industrial automation, but older systems and technology often can counter the benefits that these systems were meant to provide. For example, long cycle times, speed of vision recognition, collision issues, and part positioning can all become challenges for older systems or those that aren’t tailored to your specific production needs. In these instances, a more up-to-date solution may be needed to prevent downtime and other costly mistakes.
One of the latest solutions to help you bulk feed bin parts using robotics is Smart Bin Technology™. This innovative system combines part handling technology with visual guidance to solve many of the traditional bin picking challenges that companies experience. In addition to the issues mentioned above, Smart Bin Technology supports random part recognition, addresses older systems’ inability to clear a bin, and other complexities that can cause production delays.
Feedall Automation uses Smart Bin Technology to help our clients with their robotics and industrial automation needs. If you’re experiencing any of the challenges mentioned, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn how we can improve this essential part of your production environment.
Trust Feedall for All of Your Automation Needs
When it comes to industrial automation solutions, it’s critical to have not only a solution tailored to your production needs but also one that performs with the utmost reliability. Maintenance issues are frequently cited as one of the greatest problems with industrial automation equipment, which is why Feedall Automation designs each system to perform consistently — and support our models, even those that are decades old.
We understand the impact that maintenance makes on your uptime, which is why our machines are also designed to require as little maintenance as possible. Our field team is also available to provide on-site training for employees, repair or replace parts, or make other adjustments as needed.
If you’ve been looking for a solution to bulk feed bin parts or are considering some other industrial automation solution to make your environment more successful in 2021, we’re here to help.