Mouser Left Banner
Mouser Left Banner
Mouser Left Banner
Mouser Right Banner
Mouser Right Banner
Mouser Right Banner

    What is a Desktop Automated Dispensing System?

    Since the introduction of desktop automated dispensing systems into manufacturing lines in the 1980s, robots have increased first-pass yields with faster speeds while reducing product rejects. Flash forward to the present day and we still see a trend of companies switching from manual to automatic dispensing for a variety of reasons.

    Although manual equipment may be suitable for certain applications and comes at a lower cost upfront, when you need a more repeatable process with greater accuracy and verification of deposit location, automated dispensing systems are the best solution.

    At Nordson EFD, we understand the value of automated dispensing systems and the repeatability and precision they bring to manufacturing lines. Our dispensing robots are available in 3 or 4 axes configurations and offer a wide variety of camera options, software, height sensing, dispense inspection options, and more.

    Automated Dispensing Systems – A Definition

    A desktop automated dispensing system can be defined as a system that provides computer-controlled dispensing. The ability to connect your robot to a computer simplifies programming regardless of whether you’re dispensing dots, lines, circles, arcs, or compound arcs. Another benefit of computer-controlled dispensing is that everything is integrated. The closed-loop motor and linear encoders, CCD fiducial recognition, and laser height sensing of the substrate allow the system to adjust programs to automatically compensate for both surface height changes and variations in product orientation.

    With automated dispensing systems, you’re able to dispense virtually any fluid from a syringe barrel, dispense valve, jetting valve, and other types of dispensing devices. This allows manufacturers to incorporate robots because they can be adjusted to fit a wide variety of applications from inline to batch dispensing.

    Our robots can be further categorized as cartesian robots, meaning that they use X, Y, and Z coordinates. While most cartesian robots offer 3-axis capability, some also offer a fourth axis. 4-axis robots can dispense along a 360° rotation plane, giving manufacturers the flexibility to dispense dots, lines, circles, arcs, compound arcs, and patterns at virtually any angle.

    Another type of cartesian automated dispensing system is the gantry robot, which is designed with supporting axes that eliminate torque from the base axis. This results in a more stable robot that is perfect for larger payloads or when a large work envelope is needed.

    Programming Methods

    Most desktop dispensing robots come equipped with one of two programming methods. At Nordson EFD, we offer DispenseMotion or TeachMotion software. Our automated dispensing systems that do not include vision will come with TeachMotion software. This technology is integrated with a Teach Pendant, an intuitive handheld controller that allows for quick setup and easy, on-the-fly programming. Robots that come equipped with vision will use our DispenseMotion software. This software is powerful and intuitive and integrates easily with the camera. This vision-based programming works well for complex paths and allows users to program quickly with just a few clicks.

    Vision Systems

    Dispensing robots with vision allow on-screen preview of the dispensing path to make programming easier. All the user needs to do when programming is to indicate a point on the screen where the dispense pattern begins, outline the path to follow, and indicate where the cycle ends and the software takes care of automatically aligning the camera and orienting tip offsets.

    Height Detection

    Some dispensing robots can measure the height of each dispense location on the workpiece. The data gathered by the Z clearance can then be used to adjust for height variations from one workpiece to another. Our E Series, EV Series, and GV Series all use mechanical height detection, which requires a device that contacts the workpiece and determines the height of a single point at a time. The PRO/PROPlus Series is our only robot that utilizes laser height detection instead. This version of height detection is perfect for fragile substrates and it can also determine the height of multiple points on a workpiece in a single sweep.

    Tip Detection

    All Nordson EFD robots can offer automatic tip adjustment, meaning that with every dispense tip change, the system will recalibrate and adjust the X, Y, and Z height to make up for any discrepancies. This will ensure deposit accuracy, every time.

    Although this is an optional add-on to our robots, our tip detector is compatible with the PRO/PROPlus Series, EV Series, RV Series, and GV Series. The tip detector operates by touching the tip on a sensor pad to detect the height location of the tip and then makes a deposit on the tip detector to confirm the XY location, automatically adjusting the program as needed.

    Meanwhile our tip aligner is compatible with our E Series, R Series, and RV Series. The tip aligner uses optical sensors to detect the outside diameter and end of the dispense tip. Any discrepancies in the gap height are identified and the offsets are automatically applied.

    Nordson EFD Desktop Dispensing Robots

    • E Series Automated Fluid Dispensing Robotis the perfect entry level solution. It allows users to dispense in complex patterns and is a great upgrade from benchtop dispensing.

    Quick Facts: 3 axis, Teach Pendant, five sizes ranging from 150 x 200 mm to 570 x 500 mm, positional repeatability at ± 0.008 mm, speed ranges from 500 / 250 mm/s to 800 / 320 mm/s, and drive system is a 3 phase micro-stepping motor. No vision.

    • EV Series Automated Fluid Dispensing Robotis like the E Series but includes vision and is ideal for batching or critical dispensing applications where part alignment and positional variation are key. The angle and fiducial ID capabilities are beneficial for these types of applications because this robot will locate the assigned angle and fiduciary mark before any dispense cycle begins, ensuring that when dispensing does begin, it will be accurate.

    Quick Facts: 3 axis, DispenseMotion software, five sizes ranging from 150 x 200 mm to 570 x 500 mm, positional repeatability at ± 0.008 mm, speed ranges from 500 / 250 mm/s to 800 / 320 mm/s, and drive system is a 3 phase micro-stepping motor. Vison is a pencil camera.

    • R Series Automated Fluid Dispensing Robotoffers the perfect solution when a fourth axis is needed to dispense in any dimension and at any angle. This allows users to dispense along the 360° rotation plane without sacrificing accuracy in the placement or volume of the deposit. It simultaneously moves along the X and Y axes during every dispense cycle and only the R axis needs to be set for easy and quick programming.

    Quick Facts: 4 axis, Teach Pendant & TeachMotion software, three sizes ranging from 300 x 300 mm to 620 x 500 mm, positional repeatability at ± 0.008 mm, maximum speed is 800 / 320 mm/s, and drive system is a 3-phase micro-stepping motor. No vision.

    • RV Series Automated Fluid Dispensing Robotincludes a CCD smart camera that allows multi-point focus on variable heights. The fourth axis enables users to navigate intricate arcs and curves with true 3D motion control. It also allows single-fixture operation, which reduces cycle time and cost.

    Quick Facts: 4 axis, DispenseMotion software, three sizes ranging from 300 x 300 mm to 620 x 500 mm, positional repeatability at ± 0.008 mm, maximum speed is 800 / 320 mm/s, and drive system is a 3-phase micro-stepping motor. Vision is a CCD smart camera (fixed or rotating mount).

    • PROPlus/PRO Series Automated Fluid Dispensing Robotis EFD’s most sophisticated and advanced automated system that is designed and configured for precision and simplified usability. The high definition CCD smart camera with a global shutter eliminates the blurriness and small distortions typically found in rolling shutter systems. The PRO Series has a closed feedback loop that includes laser height sensing to protect delicate substrates from damage while eliminating any distortion created by part height.

    Quick Facts: 3 axes, DispenseMotion software, four sizes ranging from 250 / 250 mm and 250 / 220 mm, positional repeatability at ± 0.004 mm for the PRO Series and ± 0.003 mm for the PROPlus Series, the maximum speed is 500 / 250 mm/s for the PRO Series and 800 / 250 mm/s for the PROPlus, and drive system is a 5-phase micro-stepping motor for the PRO Series and a Servomotor for the PROPlus Series. Vision is a CCD smart camera for both the PRO Series and PROPlus Series.

    • GV Series Automated Fluid Dispensing Robot can work as a standalone system or can be seamlessly integrated into rotary tables and conveyor-fed assembly lines. This is the perfect solution when you’re working with substrates that require large work envelopes while not sacrificing repeatability. It also allows for an unlimited workpiece payload.

    Quick Facts: 3 axis, DispenseMotion software, two sizes available in 400 / 400 mm and 800 / 800 mm, positional repeatability at ± 0.02 mm/axis for the G4V model and ± 0.1 mm/axis for the G8V model, the maximum speed is 500 / 320 mm/s for the G4V and 800 / 320 mm/s for the G8V, and drive system is a 5-phase micro-stepping motor for the G4V while the G8V has a Servomotor for the XY axis and a 5-phase micro-stepping motor for the Z axis. Vision is a pencil camera for the G4V and a CCD smart camera for the G8V.

    Although desktop automated dispensing systems may require a larger investment upfront, the accuracy, increase in production, a decrease of product rejects, and overall capabilities bring so much value to a manufacturing line. Our dispensing robots often provide a return on investment in a matter of months.

    Johnathan Titone
    Johnathan Titone
    ELE Times Bureau
    ELE Times Bureau
    ELE Times provides a comprehensive global coverage of Electronics, Technology and the Market. In addition to providing in depth articles, ELE Times attracts the industry’s largest, qualified and highly engaged audiences, who appreciate our timely, relevant content and popular formats. ELE Times helps you build awareness, drive traffic, communicate your offerings to right audience, generate leads and sell your products better.

    Technology Articles

    Popular Posts

    Latest News

    Must Read

    ELE Times Top 10