Project Scope Lighting Capsule Automatic Sorting Machine

This project was presented to SDC in search of a high speed/high quantity miniature light bulb (capsule) inspection machine.  The capsule being inspected had to be checked for size, shape, and amount of mercury.  This machine had to inspect a minimum of 18,000 capsules per hour.

sdc's solution

SDC’s solution was to feed the capsules from a feeder bowl down a custom static eliminating inline track and into a chute that would shoot the parts down through a custom rotating gauge block and then through a high-speed mercury detection device.  The machine also used high speed blow offs to correctly package parts based on the amount of mercury measured.  The rotating gauge block was designed with 16 identical holes that were made to the high end of the tolerance for the capsule.  Any capsule that was not straight or the wrong size would get stuck and the dial would index one position.  An ejector pin was used to push the reject capsules out of the dial, and they were then blown into a reject bin. The index of the dial and the motion of the ejector pin (once the dial was on station) had to be completed in under 150 milliseconds not to interfere with the next part passing though the machine.


Each phase was completed in under 150 milliseconds


Completed lighting capsules per hour


The rotating gauge block was designed with 16 identical holes

Custom pneumatic-driven press

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