Abstract: A low-cost method, which integrates distance sensing functionality into a switched electromagnet by using a hybrid switching mode and current ripple measurements, is proposed. The electromagnet is controlled by a micro-controller via a MOSFET H bridge, utilizing a comparator-based current control. Additionally, a method for calculating the inductance of the electromagnet and approximating the magnetic contact between the electromagnet and its target is also presented. The resulting tool is attached to an industrial robot, and the system performance using this setup is evaluated. Distance sensing in the range of 0 mm to 5.2 mm is demonstrated. It is also shown that the relation between magnetic contact, coil current and calculated inductance can be reduced to a predictive look-up table, enabling the quality of the magnetic contact to be estimated using minimal computational effort.
Abstract: A new type of permanent magnet (PM) brushless claw pole motor (CPM) with soft magnetic composite (SMC) core is designed and analyzed in this paper. The PMs are mounted on the claw pole surface, and the three-phase stator windings are fed by variable-frequency three-phase AC currents. The advantages of the proposed CPM are that the slip rings on the rotor are cast off and it can achieve the efficiency improvement and higher power density. The effects of the claw-pole structure parameters, the air-gap length, and the PM thinner parameter of the proposed CPM on the output torque are investigated by using three-dimensional time-stepping finite element method (3D TS-FEM). The optimal rotor structure of the proposed CPM is obtained by using the response surface methodology (RSM) and the particle swarm optimization (PSO) method and the comparison of full-load performances of the proposed CPM with different material cores (SMC and silicon steel) is analyzed.
Abstract: The use of lasers to weld polymer sheets provides a means of highly-adaptive and custom additive manufacturing for a wide array of industrial, medical, and end user/consumer applications. This paper provides an open source design for a laser polymer welding system, which can be fabricated with low-cost fused filament fabrication and off-the-shelf mechanical and electrical parts. The system is controlled with free and open source software and firmware. The operation of the machine is validated and the performance of the system is quantified for the mechanical properties (peak load) and weld width of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) lap welds manufactured with the system as a function of linear energy density. The results provide incident laser power and machine parameters that enable both dual (two layers) and multilayer (three layers while welding only two sheets) polymer welded systems. The application of these parameter sets provides users of the open source laser polymer welder with the fundamental requirements to produce mechanically stable LLDPE multi-layer welded products, such as heat exchangers.
Abstract: Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are widely used for control and automation of machines and processes, so the quality of PLC software has a direct impact on production efficiency. This paper describes a PLC program for a food production line that was completely rewritten using a different software architecture and framework. The PLC hardware and the production line equipment were not changed, so this project provides an opportunity to quantify the impact of different PLC software architecture on production efficiency. The average number of cases of products produced per production hour during the first ten months with the new program was 6.1% higher than the average during the previous ten months with the old program. PLC software, unlike most other software, is often used by the end-user for troubleshooting. In this case, a relatively simple architecture and framework that favors the end-user significantly improved production efficiency over a more sophisticated architecture and framework that favors the software developer. Suggestions for further research on software architecture and framework are given.
Abstract: Magnetic linear gear provides a new and unique opportunity for coupling mechanical impedances and optimizing vibration damping. In the present paper a new magneto-mechanical vibration damper (the so-called Z-damper) is described. Its expected theoretical dynamic behavior shows a particularly high damping capability, a low frequency, as well as an optimal behavior for high frequencies.
Abstract: The drudgery involved in dehulling breadfruit seed by traditional methods has been highlighted as one of the major problems hindering the realization of the full potential of breadfruit as a field to food material. This paper describes a development in an African breadfruit seed dehulling machine with increased throughput of about 70% above reported machines. The machine consists of a 20 mm diameter shaft, carrying a spiral wound around its circumference (feeder). The feeder provides the required rotational motion and turns a circular disk that rotates against a fixed disk. The two disks can be adjusted to maintain a pre-determined gap for dehulling. An inbuilt drying unit reduces the moisture content of the breadfruit for easy separation of the cotyledon from the endosperm immediately after the dehulling process. The sifting unit that separates the shell from the seed is achieved in this design with an electric fan. The machine is design to run at a speed of 250 rpm with an electric motor as the prime mover. The dehulling efficiency up to 86% and breakage of less than 1.3% was obtained at a clearance setting of 12.4 mm between disks. A sifting efficiency of 100% was achieved. Based on the design diameter and clearance between the dehulling disks, the machine throughput was 216 kg/h with an electric power requirement of 1.207 kW.