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.
Automated Shape Optimization of Orienting Devices for Vibratory Bowl Feeders
Manuscript received April 18, 2013; final manuscript received July 11, 2013; published online September 16, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Xiaoping Qian.
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Hofmann, D., Huang, H., and Reinhart, G. (September 16, 2013). "Automated Shape Optimization of Orienting Devices for Vibratory Bowl Feeders." ASME. J. Manuf. Sci. Eng. October 2013; 135(5): 051017. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4025089
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