The new DEPRAG step feeder system: eacy step feed

DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO.
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Specifically designed for longer screws

Once the doors open, all the big names in the industry can be found at the MOTEK international trade fair for automation in production and assembly from the 7th to the 10th of October 2019 in Stuttgart. Designers and operators will find cross-sector approaches, ranging from detailed solutions to turnkey system solutions. The unique industry platform showcases a wide range of cutting-edge solutions and the latest trends for optimisation in assembly processes. In hall 5, at stand 5302, trade visitors can discover in-depth the latest innovations from DEPRAG.

The focus is on the timely supply of parts and fasteners for assembly - a key component for the productivity and reliability of assembly processes. Feeding devices are designed to efficiently and precisely supply the required quantity of correctly aligned component parts and fasteners. Screws are the most common feed part automatically supplied, although other components include rivets, threaded pins, O-rings and labels.

DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO. can provide the optimal feeding technology for almost any application. “If the feed system needs to handle particularly long screws, which would be too long for a standard sword feeder or vibratory spiral feeder, we have now come up with a new solution for this challenge. The new DEPRAG step feeder system, eacy step feed, now enables the efficient, intelligent and technically clean feeding of even longer screws”, explains Product Manager Daniel Guttenberger.

The complete system, comprising a storage container, material-handling technology, linear conveyor, separator, housing and controller – specially designed for longer screws – offers hassle-free, reliable operation with 24V technology, independent from mains voltage and mains frequency. The DEPRAG step feeder system combines all the advantages of a step feeder with the outstanding energy-efficiency of DEPRAG’s vibration and regulating technology.

Main features of the DEPRAG eacy step feed

The feed material is quietly fed in stages over linear feed plates from the storage container towards the feed rails. A brushless electric motor, controlled by the smart energy-efficient DEPRAG eacy feed PFC100 controller, is used to drive the feed plates. The directly adjustable feed rate supports gentle part feeding.

The integrated sequence controller PFC100 regulates the complete feeding process for -EP and 11911-x designs used in combination with handheld screwdrivers. Each new cycle is triggered via a start impulse. This significantly reduces integration in higher-level system controllers. As an alternative, the system can also be controlled via an external PLC/IPC controller. Direct integration in IPC environments is also an option with the PFCi100.

The feed material is geometrically aligned in the feed rails. A linear conveyor then transports the feed parts towards the separator. Fill level sensors in the storage container and the feed rails measure and regulate the feed rate. In the separator feed material is separated and pre-positioned to be the shot through the feed hose or for pick-up using vacuum tool or gripper.

Gentle component handling and CleanFeed concept

The feeding system exhibits particularly gentle handling of feed material. Vibration is only used in the vicinity of the linear feed rails. A brushless electric motor is used as the drive for the feed plates ensuring a calm, gentle motion. The feed rate can even be directly controlled via the smart, energy-efficient DEPRAG eacy feed controller.

This gentle part handling and low-friction feeding guarantees that particle build-up is kept to an absolute minimum. However, there is also the option of adding vacuum suction equipment to boost technical cleanliness at certain interface points. The DEPRAG CleanFeed concept is also available for each processing step of the eacy step feed system – from component handling and feeding to fastening – prevent, reduce and remove abrasion.

Compatibility with other DEPRAG components

The step feeder can also be optionally combined with DEPRAG storage systems. They are the ideal complement for optimal processing, ensuring a constant fill volume and extended re-load intervals. Eacy step feed is, of course, also compatible with DEPRAG’s other automation components, such as the DEPRAG Feed Module DFM, the DEPRAG screwdriving function modules and DCOS, the DEPRAG Controller System.

Guttenberger clarifies, “The high feed rate, long life-span and compact size – specifically for longer feed parts – provides an alternative to vibratory spiral feeders and sword feeders”.

It is clear that the step feed system, in combination with DEPRAG automation components, is an attractive complete solution for numerous assembly applications. All key technology is produced in-house and therefore all components are perfectly coordinated with one another.

In addition to their diverse range of components, the company is also presenting other highlights to support the interconnected digital factory: pioneering smart tools which can be connected to the newly developed DEPRAG Cockpit software solution. This enables the supervision and evaluation of all assembly tasks and provides analysis tools for continuous process optimisation and the recognition of trends.

A further attraction is the live show “The future of screwdriving technology” – at 10am and 14pm daily at the DEPRAG exhibition stand. It is well worth a visit!

The new DEPRAG step feeder system: eacy step feed

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