Boad, C. and Brandenstein, K., "Plate Cartridge Compact Flexible Automatic Feed System," SAE Int. J. Aerosp. 9(1):163-168, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-2080.
The newest generation of automated fastening machines require a feed system that is smaller, more flexible, and faster than any currently available. The feed system must be compact enough to fit on a robot base, yet have a capacity large enough to support unmanned production for hours. A large variety of fasteners must be supported and the entire system must be reloaded or reconfigured in minutes to match the next work piece being assembled by the machine. When requested by the part program, the correct fastener must be released directly and immediately into the feed tube to minimize cycle time. This paper describes a new “plate cartridge” feed system developed to meet these needs.