Unique Parts Feeding Capabilities: Supplied by Bellco Feeders

A Steven Douglas Corp. (SDC) customer in the medical industry had nearly five years of successful production by an SDC automated assembly machine. This machine manufactured a medical device to help those who suffer from sleep apnea. After a revision in the product line, the machine needed retrofitting to accommodate the new product specifications.

Customer Objectives:

  1.  Importance of the overall machine rate – 8 seconds per box (complete packaging, 32 products per box).
  2.  Due to the nature of the medical industry, precision manufacturing and device assembly were key considerations.
  3.  Machine capabilities required: Assemble individual components to create medical device, then automatically package products into a box.
Unique Parts Feeding Capabilities: Supplied by Bellco Feeders

Why SDC Uses Bellco Feeders

When looking for a feeder bowl supplier there are important qualities to look for:

  1.  Service team that is based in the US and available to provide service and support.
  2.  High-quality, reliable components. When feeder bowls vibrate, mechanical parts can become loose within the unit, placing importance on the quality of components used to make the feeding bowl.
  3.  Competitive pricing. As an integrator, SDC always wants to make sure suppliers are offering the best products for the best price so that competitive pricing can be passed to customers.
  4.  Easy integration into an automated machine. Assurance that feeder bowl suppliers are built with the same high-quality, automated controls that can tie in with custom machine controls provided by SDC.

What Bellco has provided to SDC:

  1.  Sophisticated yet simple to use feeder controls that can be programmed into the machine PLC.
  2.  Proven engineering expertise to design feeder bowls that consistently meet or exceed specifications.
  3.  High quality materials used in the construction of the bowls, including a scratch-resistant standard coating.
  4.  Proven ability to feed “hard-to-feed” components or parts that have a unique geometry.
  5.  Excellent customer service and quick response times – This is essential when designing and building an automated machine with strict deadlines.

The retrofitting of this machine had to consider not only the design changes in the part being produced, but the material changes as well. Bellco Feeders was easy to work with and offered custom upgrades like a non-vibratory air-assisted guide track to allow for precision feeding. The feed rate per bowl resulted in 120 parts per minute.

In addition to the superior quality Bellco Feeders provides, quick responses and feedback with flexible options for design changes tops the list of benefits. Any proposed changes, after a model of the feeding system is provided, are handled without lag time – something that is so important, especially with delays in most supply chain operations.

Unique Parts Feeding Capabilities: Supplied by Bellco Feeders

Key Results

  1.  Four parts feeding bowls with two on each side of the machine.
  2.  A long linear track allows for the metal washers to “build up” so that the machine can operate in a fast manner.
  3.  Hoppers on top of the feeder bowls hold extra parts (metal washers) and monitor how many parts are in the bowl. If the bowl has too many parts, it will be too heavy and will not operate as efficiently – the hoppers add more parts as needed. These also allow the operator to load parts and walk away – resulting in  longer “unoperated” runtime.
  4.  The feed rate on these bowls is an essential component for the feed rate of the overall machine.

Click here to check out the Bellco Feeders website!