Shoe Insole Assembly Machine

Project Scope:

Shoe Insole Assembly Machine

This project was presented to SDC by a manufacturer looking for an assembly machine that would increase production capacity and decrease the amount of labor required for high-volume manufacturing of orthopedic shoe insoles.  The original assembly process required many manual process steps that would now be automated.  The project required the integration of several third part systems including a logo applicator and Greenerd hydraulic press.

AC Motor driven rotary indexing dial

Greenerd Hydraulic Press integration

Heat sensitive logo application

Heating control system for heal pad application

Recipe system to accommodate all customer part types

Allen Bradley PLC & HMI

Allen Bradley motion control system

Complete machine safety system

Remote plant connectivity

The Solution:

SDC chose a four-position rotary indexing machine driven with a variable frequency drive for more advanced speed control.  The insole material was loaded into the machine by an operator after the completion of an index.  The completed assemblies were manually removed in the same position.  During the hand loading process the three automatic stations (press, heal pad application, and logo application) would complete.  The operator was protected from the three automatic stations by a combination of light curtains and physical guarding.

Air tube heaters were used to activate the heat sensitive material for the heal pad application.  A PID based heating system was used to control the logo application head.  The logo applicator was mounted on a XY servo positioning system to move based upon the machine recipe selected.

The result was an assembly machine that met the customers project goal of integrating the manual process steps into an automated piece of equipment.  The success of the project led to the customer ordering two more duplicate machines within a year later to meet increased demand.

6 SECONDS SDC’s custom solution produced one completed pair of insoles every 6 seconds