Epson Robots has introduced the IntelliFlex Feeding System that utilizes Epson’s IntelliFlex Software and Vision Guide. The feeding system was designed to offer a simple and affordable feeding solution to accommodate a wide variety of parts for advanced applications in medical, consumer, automotive, and electronics.
The IntelliFlex Feeding System was created for high-mix low-volume parts singulation. The system integrates the robot, the feeder, and the vision system into a single environment, so manufacturers get operational efficiency and quick changeovers. (Image source: Epson Robots)
The goal of the IntelliFlex Feeding System was to eliminate costly, time-consuming retooling so manufacturers can work with a wide variety of parts without purchasing new equipment. The system is integrated with Epson RC+ Development Software and is designed to offer easy setup and configuration – and no coding. Its point-and-click interface was designed reduce the typical development time required for advanced applications. Smart auto-tuning automatically adjusts the IntelliFlex Feeding System for new parts, offering a flexible, cost-efficient, future-proof parts singulation solution.
Reducing the Need for Code Development
One of the hallmarks of smart manufacturing equipment is that the intelligence is embedded in the tool, thus reducing code development required by users or their integrators. “Parts feeding is a common need for any manufacturer with an assembly process. There are several problems with the typical bowl feeder. Set up is difficult and it takes weeks,” Stacey Tieu, product manager at Epson Robots, told Design News. “A lot of code development is required to ensure vision system is communicating with the feeder and the robot. Bowl feeders are great for fast throughput, but very costly when retooling for part changeover is required.”
Epson’s goal in creating its feeding system was to integrate the vision sensors, the robot, and the feeder. “The Epson IntelliFlex Feeding System is an integrated solution powered by Epson robots, proprietary Epson software, and our vision guidance system,” said Tieu. “This innovation eliminates costly retooling and accommodates a wide variety of parts with quick part changeover. There is one simple easy-to-use use interface that automatically controls the robot, the vision system, and the flexible feeder.”
Reducing Development Time
Given the integration across the system, manufacturers can reduce the set-up time between parts. “Development time is greatly reduced from weeks to just days. The Epson development software, Epson RC+, has a built-in wizard that walk users through simple steps for parts set up,” said Tieu. “Smart auto-tuning automatically adjusts the system for new parts. The auto queue tracking system tracks part position and identifies pickable parts. This helps to minimize coding.”
The system was created specifically for manufacturers that need regular changeovers. “The IntelliFlex Feeding System was designed to carry out assembly processes or work with a high mix of parts,” said Tieu. “This solution works well for parts in medical devices, automotive parts, consumer parts, consumer electronics, or industrial parts. The system accommodates different part materials such as plastic, metal or rubber.”
Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.
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