The use of micro-pin feeder-bowls has been established as a way to singulate and orient micro-scale metallic pins of varying lengths. Increasing the rate and reliability with which pins can feed through the bowl is important when considering the use of such a feeder-bowl in an industrial setting.
Previous experimental work, which was limited to a single driving frequency and small range of driving amplitudes of the feeder-bowl, showed low feed rates and long capture times for pins whose aspect ratio exceeded five-to-one. New experimental work has shown that by altering the driving amplitude and frequency of the feeder-bowl, pins with aspect ratios exceeding seven-to-one could be fed.
Because the frequency response of feeder-bowls may be limited, other techniques for improving the feed rate for long pins were also sought. One such technique was the magnetizing of the pins to increase their response to a magnetic field which surrounded the feeder-bowl. In some circumstances, more than a 70% reduction in average capture time was observed.
The improved capture performance for long pins will permit more freedom in the design of devices that can be assembled with the aid of vibratory micro-pin feeder-bowls. The research results will also be used to improve the accuracy of feeder bowl simulations.