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Feed Mechanism and Method for Feeding Minute Components

This Feed Mechanism can single out one component from a disorganized batch of bulk components and move it to an exact location. Background Electrical circuits such as printed wiring boards or hybrid microcircuits designed to utilize surface mount electrical components are commonly assembled by computer controlled automated equipment. These machines typically use a vacuum nozzle to pick up and handle the components during assembly. Three methods are commonly used to feed components to automatic assembly equipment; tape reel feeders, linear or bowl type vibratory feeders or waffle style packages. These manufacturing processes are disorganized and can be inaccurate. As both micro electrical and mechanical components get smaller, it becomes more difficult to manipulate and orientate components that are not prepackaged in a specific way.

The feed mechanism uses a series of slides that can then delivers a single component to an exact location, for pickup by the automated equipment. This can occur on components as small as the width of a human hair (0.002 – 0.010 inch) from a bulk supply of components. It then orients the component and presents that one component into an exact location for pick up.

ADVANTAGES:

• All other small component feeders used in automated assembly equipment, require the components being placed to be prepackaged in an equidistant organized pattern. This Feed Mechanism singles out one component from a disorganized batch and presents it to an exact location.

• Conventional vibratory feeders are not effective on minute components.

 

BENEFITS:

• Operates on components as small as 0.002 – 0.010 inches

• Is customizable to fit specific component parameters

• Is adaptable to function while submerged in liquid

 

APPLICATIONS:

As a bulk feeder for miniature electronic or mechanical components and solder preforms:

• Manufacturers of micro-electronic or mechanical assembly equipment

• Circuit board assembly manufacturers, automated and hand operations

• Reclaimed component suppliers

As a wash station for bulk cleaning of miniature components:

 • Medical industry

• Precision manufacturing industry

 

Intellectual Property Status This technology is patented under US Patent number 7,604,451, issued 10/20/2009, and 8,303,237, issued 11/06/2012.

 

Additional Details

Owner

Honeywell

Intellectual Property Protection

Patent Issued



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