Automatic Metal Sheet Feeder
This automated sheet feeder accepts a stack of metal sheets or blanks and feeds them one at a time to a conveyor line or a processing machine. The infeed stack is automatically indexed up to the correct pass line height as each sheet is fed.
Depending on your industry, you may call this an indexing sheet feeder, a sheet loader, a metal blank loader, a lift table sheet feeder, an indexed lift table feeder, a blank feeder, or a metal sheet infeed loader.
The Automatic Feeder was custom-designed to feed single sheets of metal, varying in a range of widths and a range of lengths. The thickness may also according to the machines specifications.
A stack of blanks is placed by a powered preload conveyor. This conveyor incorporates a backstop so the stack can be positioned square before individual chain driven rolls transport the stack onto a heavy-duty lifting table. The lift table is a continuous-duty hydraulic pumping table which automatically maintains a constant pass line height by means of a photocell.
After the stack of blanks has been lifted to the predetermined pass line height for the feeder, an air cylinder lowers a vacuum head, allowing four vacuum cups to come in contact with the top sheet. The vacuum cups pick up the trailing edge of each panel, which activates a second air cylinder that provides the horizontal motion and pushes the sheet into a set of feed rolls. As the sheet moves into the feed rolls, the vacuum is automatically turned off at the cups, which releases the sheet into the feeder. Air separators as well as a flex roll are incorporated to ensure single sheet feeding into the feeder. As the sheet is moved through the feed rolls, a sensor mounted on the back side of the rolls signals the vacuum head to feed the next panel into the feeder. These machines are capable of feeding fifteen boards per minute.
As a stack is completed, a switch built into the lift table is activated and the lift table automatically lowers, ready to accept a new stack of material to feed into the feeder.
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