An assembler wanted to automatically feed and orient synthetic corks at a feed rate of 200 parts per minute. These corks are difficult to feed due to the sticky film that remains on their surface after the manufacturing process. Other challenges included noise levels and part orientation.

A conventional feed system would not meet the assembler’s performance requirements.

SPIROL recommended an 18-inch Series 2000 drive unit with a Mark VI dual-axis controller and a 24-inch fabricated stainless steel, dual-discharge bowl. External bowl tooling, in combination with an automatic shuttle mechanism, was designed to orient the corks into a gravity track. As the corks reach the end wall of the shuttle, an air cylinder pushes them sideways into a gravity track, effectively converting their orientation by 90 degrees. A high-level sensor above the bowl ensures that the bowl never runs out of corks.

Ultimately, the system achieved a feed rate of 220 parts per minute, exceeding the assembler’s feed rate requirement by 10 percent.

For more information, call SPIROL at 860-774-8571 or visit