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Assembly Challenges No Match for Robotic System

by Val Cureton
Adept Technology, Inc.


Feeding parts for the assembly of Honeywell's round thermostat presented many challenges.  One part presented two major challenges -- its natural tendency to tangle when fed in bulk and the manufacturing process for this particular part id not allow for integration of automation equipment. The need to present precisely oriented assemblies in a flow-through manner to the existing robotic solder machines at the next stage of the thermostat assembly presented another challenge.


Two Adept FlexFeeder 250 workcells with Adept 550 Scara robots. Each flex feeder has a lift bucket, three feed belts and a machine vision system. The parts are dumped from the bucket onto the belts where they separate due to the speed of the belts. When the parts are separated the camera can view them, inspect them and determine their orientation for robotic pick-up. The vision system identifies acceptably oriented parts and guides the robot to pick it up and place it in the appropriate position. Parts not picked up return to the bucket via the third conveyor for recycling back to the first conveyor.

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