Title
Smart Vibratory Feeder
Improved performance using a vibration sensor
Technologies used

 Micro-machined sensor, PCB

Industrial sector (PRODCOM code)
    29 Special purpose machinery
Abstract
Vibrotek Ltd., a 5 employees company with a turnover of 500 kECUs, designs and manufactures vibratory feeders for assembly equipment for industrial ‘parts manufacture and assembly’ companies in the Healthcare, Electronics and Engineering sectors. The company’s current product range of feeders utilises an analogue open loop control system based on the use of discrete devices to control the vibration excitation of parts fed from track and bowl feeders. This technology limits the adaptability of the company’s existing products, and is a significant factor in restricting the growth.

The objective of the application experiment is to develop a closed-loop control utilising a motion sensor (micro-machined accelerometer) to sense amplitude of vibration and automatically control power output as load changes.

With the existing product, frequent manual tuning of the system is required. However this is not necessary with the new controller. Preliminary tests have shown that it will greatly enhance performance and field reliability, improving the feeder output by up to 30% due to reduced downtime. Furthermore, it will reduce the set-up times and reliability costs in the field and will open markets and generate of the order of 20% increased profits. Allied to this we acquired in-house technology capability to specify, develop and support electronic controllers in our feeder products.

The total cost of the application experiment was 45 kEUR and it was completed in 12 months, two months longer than originally planned. The payback period for this FUSE project will be less than 24 months, with an expected ROI of more than a 1500% (15 times the initial investment) for a product lifetime of 10 years.
Company
Vibrotek Ltd.
Unit 4, Newtown Industrial Estate, Newtownmountkennedy, Co
Wicklow, Ireland

Detailed information

You can also benefit from microelectronics

Micro-machined sensor, PCB technology provided Vibrotek Ltd. with the means of improving its products and enhancing its market position. You can also achieve significant benefits by acquiring the right microelectronics technology and utilising it in your product or manufacturing process. You can get help from FUSE to realise this.

FUSE is a technology transfer programme, funded by the European Commission to stimulate the wider use of microelectronics technologies by European enterprises to increase their competitiveness and enhance their economic growth. The demonstrator described here is one of many examples in the public FUSE portfolio covering the whole spectrum of microelectronics technologies and spanning a wide range of applications and industry sectors.

FUSE provides you with:

  • Best practice in acquiring specific microelectronics technologies and conducting full development projects through the FUSE portfolio of real life demonstrator documents.
  • Local training and expert support to plan your innovation realistically and help you conduct your project successfully.

Further information and support relating to this and other demonstrators can be obtained from the addresses below.


Further information   Guiding Technology Transfer Node
For further information and support regarding this case study, please contact a Technology Transfer Node (TTN) in your region.
Homepage: http://www.fuse-network.com
NMRC
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IRL-Cork
Ireland