Special Issue "Actuators in Food Industry"

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A special issue of Actuators (ISSN 2076-0825).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Steve Davis (Website)

Lecturer in Manufacturing Automation and Robotics School of Computing Science and Engineering UG8, Newton Building University of Salford, Salford, M5 4WT UK
Interests: Actuators; pneumatic muscles; compliant actuation; grippers and end effectors; humanoid robots and automation for the food industry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food production and processing forms one of the largest economic and employment sectors globally. Currently the level of automation is highly variable, ranging from completely manual operations to the most advanced manufacturing systems. However, overall there is generally low use of automation technology compared with other industries. There are many reasons for this, including the unique hygiene requirements of the food industry, low margins, the natural and highly variable nature of food products and the requirement to work closely with human operators. This presents challenges for all areas of automation and robotics but particularly in the area of actuation systems.

Therefore this special issue targets high quality publications spanning the following topics:

  • novel actuators for use in the food industry
  • actuators for grippers in the food industry
  • safe physical human-robot interaction
  • compliant/soft actuation
  • energy efficient actuation
  • low cost actuation systems
  • hygienically designed actuation systems
  • robots for the food industry

Dr. Steve Davis
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Actuators is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Novel Additive Manufacturing Pneumatic Actuators and Mechanisms for Food Handling Grippers
Actuators 2014, 3(3), 205-225; doi:10.3390/act3030205
Received: 1 March 2014 / Revised: 4 June 2014 / Accepted: 11 June 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1017 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Conventional pneumatic grippers are widely used in industrial pick and place robot processes for rigid objects. They are simple, robust and fast, but their design, motion and features are limited, and they do not fulfil the final purpose. Food products have a [...] Read more.
Conventional pneumatic grippers are widely used in industrial pick and place robot processes for rigid objects. They are simple, robust and fast, but their design, motion and features are limited, and they do not fulfil the final purpose. Food products have a wide variety of shapes and textures and are susceptible to damaged. Robot grippers for food handling should adapt to this wide range of dimensions and must be fast, cheap, reasonably reliable, and with cheap and reasonable maintenance costs. They should not damage the product and must meet hygienic conditions. The additive manufacturing (AM) process is able to manufacture parts without significant restrictions, and is Polyamide approved as food contact material by FDA. This paper presents that, taking the best of plastic flexibility, AM allows the implementation of novel actuators, original compliant mechanisms and practical grippers that are cheap, light, fast, small and easily adaptable to specific food products. However, if they are not carefully designed, the results can present problems, such as permanent deformations, low deformation limits, and low operation speed. We present possible solutions for the use of AM to design proper robot grippers for food handling. Some successful results, such as AM actuators based on deformable air chambers, AM compliant mechanisms, and grippers developed in a single part will be introduced and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Actuators in Food Industry)
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