Fasteners are currently being fed into automated installation machines by a variety of different devices. Once fed, the fastener often travels to the machine's installation point via a track or feed tube. Some tracks and tubes keep the fastener oriented while others allow the fastener to tumble and reorient it at the machine head. Fastener escapements, shuttles, tracks, blow tubes and injectors are all part of the overall system. Fastener grip length selection and fastener inspection devices add to the overall complexity of feeding systems.
The technical paper discusses the theory and operation of each of the fastener feeding devices including; hoppers, magazines, cassettes and vibratory bowls. Support systems are covered and methods to optimize fastener feed times are presented.