Graco Inc. (NYSE:GGG), a leading manufacturer of fluid handling equipment, recently launched the G-Flex Feeder Flexible Parts Feeding Solution. The G-Flex Feeder is an automation innovation that easily accommodates a wide range of part sizes and shapes with seamless part changeover. The G-Flex Feeder is an innovation born of necessity. Graco, a world-class manufacturer known for technical excellence, sought to improve manufacturing automation in its own factories. The company couldn’t find a suitable commercially available parts feeding solution that offered flexibility and easy integration with vision guided robots. To solve the problem, Graco engineers designed the G-Flex Flexible Parts Feeding Solution. Today G-Flex Feeder Solutions are integrated into several Graco facilities. “The G-Flex Feeder has raised the bar for best-in-class assembly automation, not just for Graco, but for the entire assembly industry,” said Jon Knutson, a Graco business development director. “We used to invest in dedicated feeders for each part, which caused costly interruptions and downtime when product build schedules changed. With the G-Flex Flexible Parts Feeder you can simply change from one part to the next with no complicated set-up steps. Simply load the hopper with the new parts and let the G-Flex Feeder do the rest.” The G-Flex Feeder offers ultimate flexibility and can be deployed to handle new parts and process changes with no added investment. A multitude of features improve efficiencies and output, including a large capacity hopper that can be refilled on the fly; a uniquely-designed feeder table that recirculates parts preventing over-accumulation and part bunch ups. And, unlike traditional feeder bowls, the G-Flex Feeder is highly tolerant of process contamination (oily parts and chips no longer shut down the parts feeding process). In addition, the G-Flex Feeder offers a great value when compared to complicated bowl feeders. This one stand-alone, easy-to-integrate solution fits most applications and requires minimal interface: just connect it to a power supply and one PLC input, and the G-Flex Feeder is ready to get to work.
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