Orientation and stacking of parts based on internal features

Anil Mankame, University of Rhode Island


There are a number of parts which need to be oriented and stacked based on internal features, either because internal features are of primary importance or because of lack of appropriate external features. Existing methods for such parts include manual orientation, preserving the orientation during manufacture of parts, computer vision systems, and robotic manipulation.^ In this dissertation, two novel systems have been proposed for orienting and stacking parts based on their internal features. The first system, 'Stack & Guide System', is suitable for circular parts with internal features, and the 'Shell & Guide System', is developed for non-circular parts with internal features. A special experimental setup was designed, built, and tested to verify the feasibility of the proposed systems. Parts are studied for their symmetries, classified with respect to their internal and external features, and a few key variables are also identified. Based on these classifications a set of 20 industrial parts are analyzed for their feature symmetries and a suitable system for their orientation is proposed and key system parameters are determined.^ A parametric investigation is also conducted to study the influence of various parameters on the orienting and capturing process. These parameters include, the drive wheel profile, the number of teeth on the drive wheel, backup stack height and the driving speed. Mathematical models are developed for different stages of orienting and stacking processes, to investigate stack stability, part motion caused by the drive wheel with impulsive and coasting motion, and the process of part gliding and jamming on the guides.^ The part capturing, the most difficult phase of the process is also investigated. Experiments are conducted to understand the effect of pre-oriented stacks and randomly oriented stacks. A factorial study is also undertaken by varying driving speed and stack height to calculate the average time taken for orienting and capturing each part. On the basis of the experimental data analysis it is established that there exist a set of optimum parameters that are specific to a part and the system. The systems, if designed and run based on these values, would effectively orient and stack parts. ^

Subject Area

Engineering, Industrial|Engineering, Mechanical

Recommended Citation

Anil Mankame, "Orientation and stacking of parts based on internal features" (1997). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI9831115.