This system incorporates our ICP platform that can work over dials and conveyors. In this case, parts are presented to three separate systems using dedicated fixtures. Traditionally, dedicated fixturing is a hallmark of dial based designs. Often, however, parts can have sufficent similarity to each other - a form factor - that enables fixture costs to be dilluted across families of products.
The part to part dwell time is shortest with dial systems. This dwell can be as little as half a second or as much as two seconds depending on the overall size of the dial and the drive that causes the dial to index. Dials can be very heavy - 20 lbs for a simple, 180 degree index to several hundreds of pounds for a eight or more station dial made of steel - and the subsequent torque required for an index of minimal time can be staggering.
An additional consideration for dial systems can be on-load and off-load. In many cases an operator will place parts onto a dial, and depending on index rate, will also remove completed parts as the dial rotates a full turn. Faster cycles may require a separate operator simply to unload the dial. In advanced dial applications, robots will load dials and unload dials which forces issues of synchronization to come into play.
In this application, a gantry mold unload machine removes newly molded parts from an injection mold machine and places them on a small sychronization dial. These parts are then transferred to a main dial where several operations are done on the part before final evaluation and robotic removal occurs from the main dial. In this case, parts are scanned to see if they meet finish requirements. If they pass, they are sorted into left and right part lanes; otherewise, if they fail, they are placed into a reject lane.
Many operations can be performed The onboard vision system performs rotational/translational re-alignment using two openings in the part to properly align the program to the part. While this application is discussed elsewhere on this site, it is an excellent conveyor example. With a part to part cycle time of less than eight seconds, it illustrates the power of conveyor based part handling, the economy of fixtureless systems, and the power of vision systems to help adjust to parts on the fly.