A&H Meyer, a manufacturer of cable management systems for furniture, approached RNA Automation Ltd. to design a flexible automation system to sort, separate and feed busbars. The company wanted a system that could handle 12 different lengths of flat and crimped busbars with minimal changeover time.

RNA designed a system complete with two vibratory linear feeders from its SLL 804 range. The first feeder serves to transport and buffer the busbars. The busbars are aligned and loaded manually in up to five layers, one upon the other, over a length of approximately 1,200 millimeters of linear track. The width of the linear track is adjustable to fit all 12 sizes of busbars by shifting the side wall on the right-hand side.

With the smooth movement of the SLL 804, the busbars gently slide along the linear track to reach the second linear feeder, which separates and accumulates the parts. An aligner station consisting of two hold-back cylinders regulates the transported busbar stack, parallel to the axis, and then releases them when the sorting and separating station is free.

In the sorting and separating station, an exchangeable blade runs cyclically over the busbars. The busbars lying double or crossed are then pushed back by the blade as far as needed, until they are singulated. The cyclical movement is produced by two linear actuators (horizontal and vertical).

The busbars are now accumulated one behind the other onto two nests mounted at the end of the accumulation conveyor. Once in the nest, the busbar is clamped with cylinders and then separated with a swiveling movement into a horizontal position, ready for the customer’s handling system to pick and place the part into a housing of a multiple socket.

The system supplies 12 parts per minute. As many as 300 parts can be accommodated by the system at any one time.

The SLL 804 linear feeder features adjustable spring angles, flexible attachment points and interchangeable tracks. Maximum track length ranges from 1,100 to 3,000 millimeters. Extra spring packs and magnets are available for special applications.

For more information on parts feeders and automated assembly systems, call RNA Automation at 905-643-1810 or visit www.rnaautomation.com.