Plastic Bung Insertion

When Nick Parker, Operations Director at DB-Automation was contacted by a potential client with an enquiry that was a little bit out of the ordinary, the whole team became more than a little intrigued.

The potential client had seen a video of DB-Automation’s CFR robot on the website, and this had got him thinking of the possible use of this application for his requirement.

The client had a requirement for an automated system to sort and insert plastic bungs into the end of an open pipe. Cycle times were short, the space available for the unit was limited and there were a number of variants of bungs to be handled.

Although the end use of the system was different to that which DB-Automation are used to dealing with, and indeed many times smaller, the similarities could still be seen between systems provided previously and that which was requested now.

The order was subsequently given to DB-Automation and a multi tooled bowl feed with a 3 axis servo driven insertion robot was designed.


The concept was that the bowl feed unit would sort and orientate the plastic bungs, presenting them ready for pick-up by a pneumatic gripper mounted upon a servo driven ball screw axis. A pneumatic rotational axis would orientate the bung ready into the insertion position. The main transfer axis was again servo driven and would position the robot carriage at a safe position awaiting the clear to load signal, once received the main axis re-positions at the insertion point and the ball screw axis completes the insertion. All axis return to safe position prior to giving the main machine the clear to continue signal. The critical portion of the cycle was completed in less than 2 seconds, allowing the main system to continue.


The tooling to accommodate the variation in bung sizes was designed and manufactured to be easily adjustable and easily set; with the system having setting pieces were there was a requirement.

The team at DB-Automation designed, built and programmed the system from their premises in Leicestershire, with final integration planned to be with the main system in the USA.
Unit 3a Swannington Road,
Cottage Lane Industrial Estate,
BroughtonAstley, Leicestershire,
LE9 6TU. United Kingdom