Can Table for AIDCO, Adrian Michigan (testing completed 12/11/03)

This machine takes cans from a single lane table top conveyor and arranges them into one of four possible pallet sizes completely autonomously. The cans are formed in the various patterns so that a robot with a vacuum head can lift them off and place them on a pallet. There are two sizes of cans on this project: 1) A brushed aluminum can for a brand of Powerade called "Psych" 2) A thin-walled aerosol can.

Cans are fed onto an empty table by the table top conveyor belt.
A photoeye counts the bottles as they enter. Once the count is met, the gripper stop engages, stopping further bottles from entering.
The pattern forming cylinder MAY be engaged at this point to "stagger" the pattern.
The pusher cylinder pushes the row of cans with its primary (2.38") stroke against the fence controlled by the rodless cylinder onto the table.
This pattern is repeated until a proximity sensor on the rodless cylinder is tripped to indicate a full table.
The pusher cylinder pushes with its secondary (4.25") stroke and finishes the pattern for the robot.
The layer is removed by the robot.
The fence and pusher are reset and the process repeats.

This was my first project involving cans as well as the most complex pneumatic designs I have done at AMT. The most complex part of this design is that there are five different cylinders operated by five different solenoid valves that each accomplish a seperate task. The complexity of the project comes when you consider that the motion of each cylinder cannot interfere with the motion of any other cylinder or damage will occur.

These pictures were taken with the lights out using a flash after the first test was completed. This is the 40 x 48" pattern for the "Psych" bottle shown.