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An Automated Inspection System

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.89.1 - 5.89.7



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Paper Authors

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Chong Chen

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3648

An Automated Inspection System ---A Project Designed and Built by Engineering Technology Students Chong Chen Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, TN 37132


A project to design and build an automated inspection system was completed by senior engineering technology students. This system consists of: programmable logic controller (PLC), electric motor, linear actuators, photo sensors, and other control components used in industry. It can sort the parts by their dimensions automatically. Students drew from the knowledge learned in many courses in completing this project.


In the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, the students are required to take a senior project course, which is a capstone course required by ABET. The purpose of this course is to give students an opportunity to use the knowledge learned in different courses in the chosen project. In the project, engineering problems are studied and solved by experimental means.

One of the projects completed was the design of an automated inspection system, which inspected and sorted the parts by their physical dimensions. The system makes use of a PLC for control. Loading, inspecting, and sorting of the parts are done automatically. No operator is needed for monitoring the system operation. When the part supply tower is empty or parts jam in the loading path, the PLC detects the error and turns on a strobe and a siren to notify the operator.

System Operation

Figure 1 is a photograph of the automated inspection system. A top view of the system, which sits on a 72” x 28’’ platform, is shown in figure 2. Major components of the system and the PLC, which is not shown in figure 2, are listed in Table 1. The system operation is as follows:

Chen, C. (2000, June), An Automated Inspection System Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8176

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