There are various types of bowls which can be used, namely, step, cylindrical, conical, outer track etc. All of these types have certain advantages and disadvantages inherent to their design & construction.
Cylindrical bowls – The biggest advantage is their low cost of construction and tooling. However, the disadvantage is that there are tracks one on top of another, which results in jamming of parts between two tracks, removing of which requires manual intervention. Another disadvantage is that due to tooling, especially in case of complicated tooling, the bowls becomes unwieldy and unbalanced. This results in the bowl not working properly on one side. The loading quantity or the volume in cylindrical bowls too is much less, resulting in regular replenishment at short intervals.
Step bowls - Step design bowls provide a lot of tooling flexibility, convenience and high loading volumes. Secondly, it is possible to provide irregular and complicated bowl tooling and shapes in case of step design bowls. As such there are no disadvantages of using step type bowls except that they are costlier to make. These can be used for any type of components. As there is no track on top of another, the problem of jamming of components between two tracks does not arise.
Conical bowls – Conical bowls are suitable only for certain types of components, which tend to overlap or are very flat. In these type of bowls too, as there is no track on top of another, the problem of jamming of components between two tracks does not arise. Conical bowls are most preferable in case of medical applications as they can be made to ensure there is welding crevice or gap anywhere in the bowl. Conical bowl can be fixed from the sides to result in much better working for medical applications.
Outer track bowls - These are also costlier to make but have some advantages like high loading capacity, optimum area for tooling. In case there is a requirement for high speed and complicated orientation, then outer track bowl is the only solution. However, the disadvantage is the high cost of such bowls. Further as the outer track bowl is an cylindrical bowl on the inside and therefore there are tracks one on top of another, which results in jamming of parts between two tracks, removing of which requires manual intervention.
Going through the above information, it can be concluded that step type bowl is the best for most parts being fed, not only from the point of view of the bowl tooler but also from the customer’s usage point of view.