July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
This paper presents a senior design project, titled modular conveyor belt system with robotic sorting, completed in a B.S. Engineering Technology program. The main objective of the project is to design and implement a modular conveyor belt system with a sorting robotic arm that can be used in several different settings. The second objective is to maximize the system efficiency by minimizing both the sorting time and the power consumption. Senior design students researched the effects of a modular link belt with chain/gear conveyor system and reported its benefits over the prefabricated belts. Students also explored the functionality of a sorting robotic arm that worked in tandem with targeted conveyor belt system.
This senior design project is expected to enhance applied research efforts to reduce the overall operation and handling costs of an autonomous material transportation systems. Students initially planned to design a fully autonomous conveyor belt system that would be flexible enough to be implemented in any industry regardless of the materials being handled, however due to the complexity of the system, a prototype conveyor belt with a limited robotic sorting system was built using all 3D-designed and printed materials in the engineering technology laboratories.
Although senior students have already completed machine language, network theory and computer architecture courses, the actual programming of a functional prototype conveyor belt and robotic arm also included challenges that will be reported in the paper. The conveyor system is encased in a 3D-printed filament frame having a dimension of 15x5x5 inches with smoothed curved edges in both the front and the rear sections. Since all the system parts were planned to be printed in 3D printers, students have had the liberty of using custom shape or design as no manual labor was required. The total printing time for all the parts including the links used for the belt took approximately more than 100 hours since all individual links were printed separately. Accessing to multiple 3D printers in the department helped students to expedite their material production needs. The main gears were printed using a slower and more condensed printing mode as they would be constantly moving.
3D-design sketches, functional block diagrams, project Gantt chart, actual belt and robotic arm system pictures, and bill of materials are provided. The finished product is now being used as demonstration purposes in control systems technology glasses that provide a better understanding of conveyor belts, a significant part of the manufacturing industries.
Pecen, R., & Dakeev, U., & Yildiz, F. (2021, July), Modular Conveyor Belt System with Robotic Sorting Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37516
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