A feeder is a machine that adds materials to another machine for processing during a manufacturing operation. The industrial machine feeders are used mostly to feed chemicals or metal materials. Depending on the manufacturing process that a feeder is used, the design and configuration of the feeder can be diverse. An NC servo feeder is the machine that is involved in a metal forming process to feed sheet metals or thin metal panels to a metal forming machine. Besides the NC servo feeders, there are still other types of feeders available for industrial usages.
Regardless of the types of feeders, they are incorporated mainly with the cold forming machines such as hydraulic press, shearing machine, roll forming machine, laser cutting machine and more. The materials that are processed by these machines have different properties in width, thickness, or flexibility and the feeders that are included in the processes vary consequently. The NC servo feeders are the machines that apply numerical control and servo control system to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the work.
NC servo feeder is one of the NC machinery that is used in the modern metal forming processes. The NC stands for numerical control. Numerical control is the technology applied to control a system of a machine. The order or instruction to the machine is delivered in the form of data input, or say coding. Once the instruction is delivered through a computer to a machine, the machine executes the instruction by means of performing a series of machining operation. The NC technology is widely utilized in modern manufacturing and engineering industries.
An NC servo feeder is the machine that controlled by NC technology. The numerical control system that is incorporated with a feeder determines the feeding rate of the machine. In a metal forming process, the feeding of the sheet metal should be carried out based on the processing rate of the forming machine. A jam takes place if the feeding is too fast; an interruption occurs when the feeding is too slow. To maintain the productivity and avoid machine and material damage, the NC system is required.
Servo is a shortened term of servomechanism. Servo control in manufacturing and engineering is an automatic system that corrects the action of a machine. With the servo control, a machine is able to self monitor its work, performance and functionality during a process and revise the action in real-time so that errors can be avoided effectively. In order to achieve the self-monitoring and action-revision ability, a set of error-sensing unit is included in a servo control system.
The error-sensing unit has sensors that continuously monitor the action of a machine and send the feedback back to the control unit in the form of signals. By analyzing the signals, the control unit is able to control the mechanical position, speed, and other variables of the machine. An NC servo feeder can adjust the feeding rate based on the signals that the servo control unit obtains when the machine is operating. Therefore, the feeding operation can be more efficient and accurate.
Some might consider a feeding process as simple as continually inserting material into a metal forming machine and that it does not really take any skill or care to handle. However, it is not entirely the case. In fact, a feeding process is more complicated than people think it is to carry out. The material not only has to be put into a forming machine but has to be positioned correctly into the machine from front to back and from side to side. If the material does not enter the forming machine correctly, the end results can be poor. If the material is pre-painted, the ill-positioning may end up damage the coating.
Implementing the NC servo control system helps improve the positioning of the material and maintain a proper pace of delivering the material. To achieve the goal, the variables such as the feeding length, the material width, the die heights, and the feeding time are all monitored and controlled by the system. Consequently, the processing speed, the flexibility and the quality of feeding can be improved. In general, the NC servo feeders can optimize the feeding efficiency, correct material positioning, and hence avoid negative end results.
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