Introduction to FlexiBowl®
FlexiBowl® is a leading solution in the field of flexible feeding systems for industrial automation. Developed as a response to increasing production volumes and a variety of objects being produced, the FlexiBowl® system provides a highly integrated and connected technology that aims to drastically speed up development and production.
What is FlexiBowl®
FlexiBowl® is a parts feeding technology that works on a unique principle of combined bidirectional rotation and pulsed actuation. This system can separate and orient parts of various sizes (from 1 to 300 mm and from 1 to 300 g) and different geometrical, surface and material properties, providing a highly versatile feeding solution.
FlexiBowl®'s Operation Mode
The operation of the FlexiBowl® system involves three crucial functions:
- Dropping from the bulk feeder
- Separating parts by the flexible feeder
- Picking by the robot
These actions are confined to specific sectors on the FlexiBowl® disc, allowing them to take place simultaneously and independently. This strategy significantly reduces inefficiencies, and the whole process usually lasts 0.5 seconds, setting a benchmark in the flexible feeding systems sector.
High-Speed Circular Tracking: FlexiTrack
FlexiTrack, a unique feature of the FlexiBowl®, enables circular conveyor tracking, increasing productivity and providing greater cycle time stability. In this mode, the vision system operates in the sector just ahead of the robot picking area. A second camera positioned in the sector preceding the bulk feeder controls the flow of parts, thus providing several advantages such as a smaller footprint and making the system ideal for synchronous applications (e.g., rotating tables).
Handling Multiple Parts
FlexiBowl® can manage up to six different types of parts simultaneously, minimizing layout and production costs. It is perfect for assembly, kitting and tray loading applications when multiple parts need to be handled. Multiple parts feeding is available for the FlexiBowl® 500, 650 and 800 versions.
FlexiBowl® Models and Options
FlexiBowl® offers six models, each customizable based on variables such as part dimensions, weight, geometry, material, industrial application, required parts capacity, and productivity. Each model is optimized based on feasibility studies conducted by ARS for their clients.
Options for customization include different surface coatings, cleanroom versions, and many more. The FlexiBowl® system also supports communication in all high-level programming languages, and it comes with fully-documented plug-ins for a wide range of robots and PLCs, which reduces integration costs.
Support and Services
ARS offers a wide range of services, starting with a free-of-charge feasibility study to help evaluate requirements correctly. They also provide on-site and remote support, training, layout and cycle-time optimization, and equipment design.
ARS bulk feeders, which are perfectly matched with the FlexiBowl® system, deliver materials in a wide range of applications. These feeders are ideal for pre-dosing small- and medium-sized parts.
About ARS Automation
Based in Arezzo, Italy, ARS Automation has more than 30 years of experience in the development and supply of flexible automation solutions. They collaborate regularly with universities and research centers around the world to provide advanced, reliable, efficient, and flexible solutions.