Parts accumulators, also referred to as product accumulators, are used to automate the collection of parts for computer numerical control (CNC) lathes and other automated manufacturing equipment. Parts accumulators increase production line operating efficiencies and decrease costs by allowing for unattended machine operation. Types of parts accumulators include vertical accumulators, horizontal accumulators, bi-flow accumulators and rotary accumulators.
The necessary type of parts accumulator is dependent upon the needs of the intended application as well as the amount of space available. For example, vertical accumulators are used when space is limited. Horizontal accumulators, which resemble conveyors, allow for changes in flow direction. Bi-flow accumulators are capable of moving parts in two directions. Spiral accumulators move parts vertically in a spiral manner, combining attributes of vertical and horizontal accumulators.
A rotary accumulator. Image credit: Royal Products