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Screw Feeder Owner's Manual


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Important Operating Instructions for Vibratory Screw Feeder


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The ATA Standard Screw Feeder needs only a solid state control, a shut-off sensor and an air manifold with air jets to feed screws out of the discharge.

A typical configuration to be used on a secondary screw machine would be for the feeder to sit above the machine and feed screws from the discharge into the machine rails, which are mounted on approximately a 30-degree down angle.

The solid state control regulates the voltage to the drive coils. A properly tuned drive can operate from 50-100% of the control output, but will be less load sensitive at the higher settings.

When the machine rails fill with screws, the shut-off sensor mounted on the rails will detect the screw build-up and interrupt the output of the control.

To assist hanging parts in the feeder and selecting back into the feeder, any screws that do not hang, an air manifold and air jets are supplied. Depending on the size of the screw and of the quantity of the screws desired, one-half inch air line with ninety pounds of pressure could be required. An optional solenoid valve can be obtained from ATA to shut the air jets off when the feeder is shut off.

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Fan Blades

Once the feeder is installed on the machine, it must be set-up for a particular size screw.

To adjust the feeder to a particular screw, start adjusting the discharge blade first. Loosen and close all the fan blades. Slide the discharge blade open enough to allow the screw shank into the gap without allowing the screw head to fall through. Then tighten.

NOTE: More gap, faster rates; less gap, easier selection. Long screws need larger gaps. As a general rule, the start of the fan has the largest gap and closes slightly as it approaches the discharge.

Make sure the end of the discharge blade is aligned with the inside rail and that they both have the correct spacing from the machine rails.

Continue the process with the adjoining fan blade until all the fan blades are gapped and the screw can be pushed by hand through the entire length of the fan without binding.

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Top Confinement

After the fan has been adjusted, adjust the top confinement. It may need to be close to the screw head on some parts, but more often than not screws will exit the feeder more smoothly with a larger gap. Tighten.

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Slide Blade

The only remaining mechanical device that requires adjusting on the feeder is the slide blade. It controls the flow of parts to the fan. The blade must allow a sufficient amount of screws to maintain rate to the machine. It is possible to over-supply the fan. A balance must be achieved between too many screws and not enough screws. When high rates are required, more screws must be allowed into the fan. Simultaneously, the feeder speed must be increased and the airflow must also increase.

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Air Jet Adjustment

ATA Screw Feeders come complete with six, color-coded, stainless steel air jets and a common manifold. It is intended to operate at 90 psi and should be plumbed with pipe no smaller than the size entering the manifold. The feeder comes set up to run a particular size screw and the air jets are in a standard location that will perform well on a variety of screws. If your needs dictate, feel free to relocate them as necessary. Air jets can only be bent a limited number of times and to extend their life span, bend to a minimum of a one inch radius. Replacement air jets can be supplied upon request.

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Control Setting

The control varies the amplitude of the drive unit. This is accomplished with solid state circuitry by varying the output voltage with a potentiometer graduated in 10% increments. The frequency remains constant, which means that the frequency of the alternating current entering the control is the frequency exiting the control. Therefore, the drive unit must be tuned to that frequency. (See tuning instructions enclosed).

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Top Speed Performance

The optimum arrangement for high speed feeding is to set the orienting air jets in a position blowing into the fan gap and in the direction of travel, spacing them in such a manner as to create voids between the oriented screws. In this position, unoriented screws have the most opportunity to orient. With the feeder on, observe the flow of screws throughout the fan area. Look for a solid line of screws between the gaps created by the air jets. If large voids exist in the line of screws, increase the flow of screws across the slide blade. If too many screws are entering the fan area, the orienting air jets will not create sufficient gaps between the oriented screws to allow more unoriented screws to enter the gap. Thus, total output will be reduced.

One or two selection air jets are used to select remaining unoriented screws. Each of these will blow across the flow of screws above the return pan area. One is pointed slightly up, the other slightly down.

A discharge air jet is commonly used at the beginning of the top confinement, and in some cases one more will be positioned at the end of the discharge. These are used to prevent screws from backing up into the feeder and jamming. Use only as much air as is necessary to keep the parts from backing up.

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