Get Your Production Headed in the Right Direction

Part orienting is a key element when adding efficiency to an automated manufacturing system. By using automation in their assembly companies are hoping to increase the number of parts they produce per minute — achieving greater efficiency — which leads to reaching ever-increasing production demands and better profitability. automation alone isn’t enough if the overall production system design fails to move your part through the process in the most efficient way.

This is where part positioning, or part orientation, becomes critical to the overall flow and speed of the manufacturing line. Part orienting consists of gaining positional and/or rotational control of a randomly oriented part. When a hopper or bin full of parts transitions from random to structured orientation, production also transitions from risky to reliable as the possibility of part jams and resulting costly delays vanishes. You have a hopper or bin full of parts; getting them aligned for the next step in the process — down to the smallest tolerance levels possible — can be the difference between a smooth-running production line and one that is plagued by jams and costly delays.

Achieving the most efficient production levels possible is a goal for every manufacturer, especially so in the current environment. The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production rose 0.5 percent in November. At 102.3 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in November was 5.3 percent above its 2020 level and at its highest reading since September 2019 — before the onset of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector increased 0.3 of a percentage point to 76.8 percent; even so, it was 2.8 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2020) average. Feedall Automation believes this trend will certainly continue and that a large part of this rise will result from automating costly processes.

Part orientation is a way to further maximize your production and meet the increasing demand. When parts are presented to your assembly process in a pre-positioned manner, such as directly after a molding process, you may be able to retain optimal part orientation without adding other methods of manipulation. But more frequently, parts require a feeding system to isolate and orient a part.

Today we’ll look at types of machinery that can help your assembly make sure parts are oriented in the proper way throughout your production facility.

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Part Orienting Solutions of Many Types

There are many different types of feeding systems, but only your specific project needs will determine which will work best for your application. This often hinges on the characteristics of your parts. Are they heavy or light? Delicate or sturdy? Ring-shaped, cylindrical, or something different?

When you work with a trusted automation solutions provider like Feedall Automation, we help you design and choose the right equipment to present your part in the correct orientation. This allows you to realize a faster, more efficient production line, one that often comes with reduced costs.

Industrial Parts Feeders

One of the most essential pieces of material handling equipment, and a critical part of your entire line, is a parts feeder. Feeders are used to introduce parts to the manufacturing process and come in many types, based on your production levels and goals, and the shape and design of your parts.

Random-loaded feeders automatically feed sliding, rolling or hanging parts, and come prepared to handle relatively small parts or in heavy-duty versions for larger, heavier parts. With random-loaded feeders, parts are typically first elevated and then gravity fed into chutes that feature metering devices to keep the flow of parts steady and consistent into the next step. Each feeder has optional custom tooling to further improve cycle time and productivity; tooling includes part elevator cleats, exit tooling, and custom controls to gain full control of the part.

Hopper Part Feeders

These feeders are typically used for feeding cylindrical parts such as cut bars, tubes, and shafts with a similar range of diameters. When part orienting is required, the parts are bulk loaded or hand-stacked in multiple rows. These feeders naturally orient parts with the elevator belt, thus eliminating recirculation of misoriented parts. This feeder is designed for higher feed rates and gentle handling of the parts with lower noise levels.

Heavy-duty billet feeders represent the larger-part version of these kinds of feeders. Engineered to avoid the use of vibration or gravity to manipulate the part orientation, these heavy-duty feeders prevent parts from recirculating or falling back into the queue.

This system also has a variety of attributes designed to increase productivity and decrease maintenance costs such as optional hydraulic or motorized tub dumper or metering hopper, adjustable or replaceable cleats, a reversing motor on the cross-feed conveyor for part changeovers, and more.

Automated Orienting Conveyors

Part orienting conveyors should be a staple in any production facility. This type of automated conveyor positions items or materials moving through it according to your specifications, whether it needs to exit the line in a specific orientation or move to the next step in a particular manner. Automated orienting conveyors can move various parts, from disc- and ring-shaped items to cylinders or shaft-style components, and both solid and tubular items. The conveyor can receive parts from multiple methods — employee-handled tote pans, floor hoppers, or an earlier placed conveyor — and on the feeding end can deposit parts into grinders, thread rollers, extrusion presses, and more.

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Get the Right Part Orienting Solutions for Your Production

Feedall Automation has part orienting solutions to improve the efficiency of your production environment, reduce operating costs, and increase overall output. As experts in industrial automation solutions with more than 70 years of delivering success in multiple markets, we’re the partner your business needs to gain a competitive advantage in today’s challenging world.

At Feedall Automation, we customize every single piece of equipment we offer to our clients’ exact specifications and production goals. It all starts with a proven foundation that our engineers and technicians expand upon to help you meet your goals. You can trust our equipment to stand up to the test of time as it’s all backed up with best-in-class repair, support services, and parts availability.

When you collaborate with Feedall, you’re not working with a partner who contributes one part or system to your manufacturing process. You’re working with a partner that delivers part feeding and orienting answers that can be integrated throughout your production line.

Connect with us today to learn more about capabilities and how we can help your organization and production facility.