Design and Fabrication of Automatic Weight Sorting Machine
Sorting of the objects is an essential operation used in various fields of day to day life for the sake of convenience. Until few years ago, sorting was mainly performed manually and was based on human judgments. Sorting system is more practical and economical method of automation. Main aim of sorting system is to save man power and improve quality and efficiency of the product. In the current scenario, most of the sorting systems employ the criteria like color, dimensions, material type etc. however, they carry their own setbacks like
environment sensitivity, high cost and complexity respectively. The proposed sorting system in this paper uses weight as a sorting criterion. The fabricated machine aims at using the mechanical and the electronic components by their mutual co-ordination. Load cell arrangement has a preeminent position in the system. This sorting system presents a precise, reliable, consistent and quantitative sorting based on weight of the objects.
Sorting is a process of arranging the items systematically. This process is required to be carried out in various fields of daily life. Nowadays there is consumers demand for quality of the product. In the food industry producing potato chips, sorting of new lot is done to ensure the quality of raw materials being used in the further process. Sorting parameters may be size, color, weight etc. Among these, weight is something that we cannot predict or calculate only by visual inspection, unlike other parameters. The proposed system can be effective in the
situations where weight of the object is the design metric to sort. In the courier companies, charges are incurred depending upon the weight of the package, there is need to sort the packages on the basis of weight. The proposed model suggests advancements in the existing methods to enhance efficiency and reduce sorting time. The model can reduce the monotonous work required to sort the agricultural products at the market places with added advantages like greater accuracy and elimination of human errors.
The proposed model mainly consists of mechanical components like a conveyor belt, DC motors, rollers coupled with electronic components like load cell, microcontroller, circuit board and display. Out of the two DC motors, one is used to rotate the input roller and the other actuates the collector bucket. As shown in the figure, belt is mounted over the rollers and the load cell is fitted under the top layer of belt with the help of metallic strips. Electronic circuit board works together with load cell unit and is mounted on the base to guide both the motors for
rotation. At the end of the conveyor is a cylindrical bucket with three compartments, each representing a certain range of weight. The Bucket is a rotary component driven by DC motor whose rotation is controlled by the microcontroller
When an object is placed on the conveyor belt, it is sensed by the load cell which then generates an analog output. The output voltage of load cell, which is analog, is proportional to the weight of the object. The analog output is converted into a digital signal by an AD converter, before being sent to the arduino microcontroller. The arduino then actuates the input DC motor (motor 1) which drives the roller and ultimately the conveyor belt. The weight measured is displayed on a LCD provided on the base. Based on the weight of the object, the arduino
provides a signal to the stepper motor (motor 2) which results into a rotation by the desired number o f steps. This results into the object being collected in the appropriate section of the collector bucket.
Parts of Model
Machine Bed : It is made up of mild steel with the dimensions 760x400mm. Supports for the load cell, conveyor belt, roller are welded on the bed. Also all the electronic components are rested on the bed.MS strips for support are 250mm high. Span of the conveyor belt is 128cm
Conveyor Belt : Conveyor belt is mounted on the rollers. Conveyor belt system carries the objects till the collector bucket and the object falls in the appropriate section.
Load Cell : Load cell is a mechatronic component which generates an analog output proportional to weight. The load cell used in this machine has maximum capacity of 6 kg. Load cell is mounted just below the conveyor belt with the help of metal strips.
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