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Thread: Request advice towards the design of a mechanical system (Read On...)

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Request advice towards the design of a mechanical system (Read On...)

    Hello, I'm new to this forum and I'm not too sure if this is the best place to ask but here goes:

    I'm a mechanical Technician who works in a company that specializes in extruded tubes.

    We have a duo deburring machine that deburrs the ends of short length round aluminium tube (100mm - 128mm).

    I've been given the task to come up with a design / concept where 1000+ tubes can be automatically fed into the machine.

    Currently an operator has to feed in 4 tubes (a handful) at a time then move round to the output side and store the finished tubes in a box for packaging.

    It's time consuming and theres an easy 2 tonne amount of tube per job to feed into the machine. (See first image below)

    I have some ideas and a few drawings / sketches, though I haven't got access to CAD or any engineering aided design software, just a pencil....for now at least

    My reason for making this post is to ask for some guidance and help from experianced engineers who perhaps can constructively critisize my concepts and possibly add own ideas in order to help me find a suitable design.

    Below are a few images I risk to show as I believe showing everything will breach company policy and possibly affect my job.

    The first image shows the box of tube to be fed into the machine. The idea is to get as much of this tube automatically fed in however it's unlikely a full box could be fed in as the workspace is small and a system would be complex for it to work.

    The second image show how the current tube is fed in via two supporting brackets - up to about 20 tube can be stored onto the machine at a time.

    The third image shows the left side of the machine internally where the tube is moved horizontally on a green nylon strip where a wire brush drum rotates and deburrs the ends of the tube.

    I am willing to provide more information in the coming days but for now I would like to just post this and see what responce I get before I waste other peoples time.

    Thankyou for reading, I appolagise if little info such as dimensions, drawings and ideas haven't been discussed though if I've came upon the correct place then this will be added in future.

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    My thoughts immediately jump to a vibratory feeder bowl. There are MANY sources for those, but they are all custom built for the product to be handled.

    But before you proceed too far you should do a little math. Exactly how much labor cost will be saved? How much will productivity be increased? What will the financial benefit be of this investment over what period of time? How soon does management want to see the return on their investment? Are they looking for a 3 year payback? 5 year? 1 year? 6 months? The answer to these questions will tell you how much money you have available to spend. That will guide you in your discussions with vendors.

  3. #3
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    I've seen vibratory feeder bowls on the Discovary Channel such as How Its Made etc many times but have never thought for a second it could be beneficial in this project.

    On a financial basis so long as its a simple system and doesn't take over 18months to break-even, money is no issue.

    I've taken note of your questions and will be looking into it as they are all important aspects that I haven't fully thougt about.

    Of all the ideas I have so far, there is only one that is plausible that I've been focusing on today. However the vibrator feeder bowl pretty much sums up what I had in mind the only difference was my concept involved that of a system similar to a cement mixer.

    But now that I have two solid ideas of similar principles I feel more confidant in what to look for. If I need more help I'll repost in future but at the moment I think I have what I need for now.

    Thankyou for your post jboggs I appreciate your advice.

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