project scope Automated Bottle Loading System

This project was presented to SDC in search of a cost effective, high speed bottle loading system. The SDC system unloaded bottles from cardboard boxes and placed them into pucks which supplied an existing bottle filling machine.

sdc's solution

SDC chose a high speed 2-axis transfer mechanism which consisted of a rotary arm mounted to a vertical axis. Coordinated and overlapping servo motions were utilized to achieve required machine speeds.

An operator loaded the system with a que of carboard boxes which housed the bottles in carboard dividers. The boxes were automatically transferred onto a servo indexing conveyor. During each pick and place cycle, a vision system was utilized in conjunction with the indexing conveyor to dynamically adjust the index distance of the box to position each row of bottles in the correct pick position for the rotary arm. A complete row of bottles was picked out of the box and placed into pucks. The cycle was then repeated. The solution accommodated for the variability of the boxes and bottles within the boxes.

A servo driven feed screw was utilized to control the position of the pucks at the bottle place position. An expandable gripper mechanism mounted to the rotary arm and developed to pick the bottles from the tightly spaced box and then expand for placement into the pucks.

SDC completely integrated the bottle loading system with the existing bottle filling machine.


machine rate of 300 parts per minute

Pneumatic pick-and-place with custom grippers moves bottles from a box and into individual fixtures.

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