How FlexiBowl® connects to the robot?

FlexiBowl® can be easily interfaced to any robot. The communication can be either via Ethernet (UDP protocol), Ethercat, or digital Input/Output.

Which differences are between the available connections?

The main difference between Ethernet/Ethercat and digital I/O communication is the capability to change the motion parameters. Via Ethernet (UDP protocol) and Ethercat the motion parameters can be changed directly from the robot controller according to the part that are currently handled. When the system is connected via digital input/output, the change of parameters requires a special program and a temporary PC connection. Then movement commands can be sent from the robot through the digital I/O connections.

What are the available backlight choices?

The system foresees white, red & infrared backlight options. Infrared backlight is often more recommended as environment light can be filtered more easily.

Which movements are possible?

The possible movements are the following: a) forward move; b) shake (quick backward and forward moves); c) flip (impulse underneath the disk); d) forward move + flip; e) continous movement (circular tracking)

Which other options are available?

FlexiBowl® is supplied with only one flip unit. A second flip can be supplied upon request and a “blow” option. This includes an additional electromagnetic valve and the blow kit to separate and better distribute parts on the feeder surface.

What is the encoder port for?

The system foresees the possibility to perform circular conveyor tracking. If the robot controller allows this functionality, it is possibile to pick up parts “on the fly”, and avoid start and stop movements.

Is it possible to change the rotating disk?

The rotating disk is made of standard conveyor belt material, and it can be easily found everywhere. The replacement takes few minutes. ARS supply different tapes (color, materials with more or less grip, textured surface. etc.). As an example we suggest silicon tape for cilindrical plastic parts; textured surface is more suited for membranes, rubber or silicon parts. The user can easily try by himself different surfaces and find the most suitable for his purposes.

Which programs are available with FlexiBowl®?

We supply a library of “V+” routines for Adept robots. We also supply a pc program to change all movement parameters and IP adress. With thsi program it is possible to find the ideal sequence of movements and achieve the best performance.

How parts can be fed on the FlexiBowl®?

The system can be interfaced with any hopper or elevating tray to provide the required running autonomy. The syncronisation between FlexiBowl® and hopper is made through a simple on/off signal that can be activated under the control of the vision system. The vision system checks continously the amount of parts that are already on the surface (example:through a grey histogram function) and turns the hopper on only when necessary. An optimal distribution of parts can be achieved very easily, thus guaranteing optimal system performance.

What level of skills are required to run and mantain such a sophisticated system, composed of robot, vision system and FlexiBowl, inside my company?

Once programmed and installed properly, the system usually runs without problems and production changeovers can be made very easily. There is no need for qualified people with special programming skills. If an internet connection is available, most sw interventions can be easily supported remotely if necessary (example: sw set up and modifications, product changeovers, etc.). On many current installations, even with customers at the first experience, we are experiencing a drastic reduction for on site support needs)