Part feeding and assembly systems

Why should you perform a part feeding or assembly simulation?

Feeding systems are the backbone of the highly automated production of a wide range of products. This requires high standards of efficiency and process reliability, which are often difficult to achieve, especially with complex components.

A classic example in feeding systems is the design of sorting baffles on vibratory bowl feeders. In addition to the pure geometry of these baffles, the vibration parameters are particularly important for the process.

If high feed rates (greater than 10 pieces/sec.) need to be achieved for complex and lightweight components, experience-based machine and process definition is usually very time-consuming and cost-intensive.

Another example is the conveying of crimp connectors using a pusher bowl and a vibrating conveyor section. Due to the complex geometry, the components can become entangled, which prevents them from being separated. In the course of this, a return into a rotating drum is realised, which enables the interlocking to be released and thus separation.

In the area of connector production, assembly processes are fundamentally integrated into the process sequence. Punching out contacts and pressing them into housings is a particularly challenging process for which suitable punching geometries and kinematics must be defined.

In all cases, the simulation of feeding and assembly processes can generate enormous time and cost benefits.

What are the benefits?

With increasing cost constraints and ever shorter time-to-market, the classic, test-based approach poses challenges in the implementation of automated systems, which can be effectively countered by accompanying simulations. The digital modeling of feeding or assembly processes results in the following advantages, among others:

  • Verification of process capability without the production of a single component
  • Digital testing and “fine-tuning” to maximize output and process efficiency
  • Very fast design/development progress thanks to short calculation times
  • Identification of ideal process parameters/kinematics, without time-consuming trials
  • Calculation possible regardless of the time of day or day of the week