The Terminators


 Eduardo Pineda Jovan Saenz Oscar Gonzalez Rafael Gonzalez

Objective

The objective of our project is to design and implement a bottling machine with a monitoring system.

Abstract

The project that was proposed is an automated bottling machine with a user interface for monitoring the status of production. That is, the user interface allowed the user to keep track of how many items have been bottled and thus supervise the position of every piston. Hence, the machine was responsible for filling and capping a 20-oz Power-aid plastic bottle. This process was composed of three stations: station 1 consisted of positioning the bottle on the conveyor, station 2 consisted filling the bottle with water, and finally in station 3 the bottle was then capped. As a result, the entire bottling process was automated and therefore controlled by a user interface that was used for making sure that every piston was properly extracted or retracted. Furthermore, the maximum cost of the machine was $6,500 dollars and was built and fully operational by April 2001. The estimated time for filling each bottle was approximately 10 seconds and the volume for each bottle was 600ml. The bottling machine, however, was controlled by a Micrologics 1000 PLC (Programmable Logic Controller).

Method of Completion

The method of completion that was used for this project basically consisted of incorporating 3 engineering disciplines, Electrical, Mechanical, and Computer Engineering. For instance, the Electrical aspect of the project will consist of using a PLC(Programmable Logic Controller) to control the operation of the bottling machine, electrovalves for controlling the actuators, and a surge protector for ensuring that the machine does not suffer any overloads. Therefore, in order to control the pneumatics and electrovalves the PLC therefore had to be programmed using a software known as Micrologics. Nevertheless, a surge protector was designed in order to prevent the machine from short circuiting. The Mechanical aspect of the project, however, consisted of designing the overall structure of the bottling machine. That is, the design of the machine was sketched using such drawing tools as Solid Works 2000 and AutoCad. Therefore, once the sketches were completed the machine was then ready for assembly. The assembly process, however, required a great deal of attention since any error in the connection of the components can result in a expensive disaster. Finally, for the computer aspect of the machine a user interface system was used for keeping track of the performance and production of the machine. Therefore, the interface was responsible for displaying such information as the number of produced items, and position of every piston.

Issues

One of the most important issues related to the project was the shortage of funds. This was a critical part of the project because most of the pneumatic parts of the project tended to be relatively expensive. In fact, it was estimated that the overall cost of the project would reach a cost of approximately $7,000.00. Furthermore, time was another issue that needed to be addressed. That is, the construction of the machine, as composed of the frame and conveyor belt, would require a sufficient amount of time since their construction depended on a machine shop. Lastly, there was also the issue of modifying certain parts of the machine such as the linear actuator and the rotary actuator which were used for the capping process.

SolidWorks 2000 Drawings

Bottling Machine

The Feeding System

Photographs of Bottling Machine

Bottling Machine Photo

The Electrical Layout

The Bottling Process

The Capping Process

The Interface

Interface

The Visual Basic Intro Form

Visual Basic

 

Conclusion (or Current State of Project)

The project intended was the design and implementation of a bottling machine with a user interface. The bottling machine was composed of 4 stations. The first station of the bottling machine for instance was the feeder. The feeder as the name suggest was basically rack where the bottles rested before the initialization of the bottling process began. Once the process was initialized, the bottles were then fed to a conveyor belt or station two of the process where they were filled with water. After the bottles are filled with water, they were then sent to station 3 where a bottle cap was placed and fastened to the mouth of the bottle. Finally, station 4 was composed of the actual screwing of the cap. Nevertheless, the entire process was thus controlled and operated by a laptop computer. That is, the performance of the bottling machine was made viewable to the technician and or manager through the use of an interface which continuously displayed the number of processed bottles and the position of the pistons. Furthermore, a database using Visual Basic was also designed to display such information as the mechanical design, electrical design, utilities, and interface. As a result, the project required a great deal of knowledge in the engineering disciplines of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Computer Science.