Research Papers

Automated Shape Optimization of Orienting Devices for Vibratory Bowl Feeders

[+] Author and Article Information
Daniel Hofmann

e-mail: daniel.hofmann@iwb.tum.de

Hongrong Huang

e-mail: info@iwb.tum.de

Gunther Reinhart

e-mail: gunther.reinhart@iwb.tum.de
Institute for Machine Tools and
Industrial Management (iwb),
Technische Universität München,
Boltzmannstraße 15,
Garching, Munich 85748, Germany

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 18, 2013; final manuscript received July 11, 2013; published online September 16, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Xiaoping Qian.

J. Manuf. Sci. Eng 135(5), 051017 (Sep 16, 2013) (8 pages) Paper No: MANU-13-1170; doi: 10.1115/1.4025089 History: Received April 18, 2013; Revised July 11, 2013

Orienting devices for vibratory bowl feeders are still the most widely used system for the automated sorting and feeding of small parts. The design process of these orienting devices has recently been supported by simulation methods. However, this merely shifts the well-known trial-and-error-based adaption of the orienting device's geometry into virtual world. Yet, this does not provide optimal design and, furthermore, requires strong involvement of the developer due to manual shape variation. This paper proposes an optimization algorithm for the automated simulation-based shape optimization of orienting devices for vibratory bowl feeders. First, general formalisms to state the multiobjective optimization problem for arbitrary types of orienting devices and feeding parts are provided. Then, the implementation of the algorithm is described based on Bullet Physics Engine and random search optimization technique. Finally, comparison of simulation results with experimental data point out good accuracy and, thus, great potential of the developed shape optimization software.

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Fig. 1

Vibratory bowl feeder with mechanical orienting devices (adapted from Ref. [22])

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Fig. 2

Sequence of passive and active working orienting devices

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Fig. 3

Characteristics of mean conveying velocity v¯ and efficiency ε

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Fig. 4

Overview of the simulation-based shape optimization

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Fig. 5

Rotation matrices of a rotationally symmetrical part

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Fig. 6

Consideration of d sequenced orienting devices for optimization of overall output

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Fig. 7

Software architecture of the simulation-based shape optimization of orienting devices

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Fig. 8

Overview of experimental approach

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Fig. 9

Comparison of simulation and experimental data for the screw

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Fig. 10

Optimization results for cuboids




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