Automated truss stacking : final report
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Team 16 was tasked by All-Fabrications Incorporated (All-Fab) in Winnipeg to solve their truss stacking problem. Currently, All-Fab is using manual labor to vertically stack the trusses. The use of manual labor creates health and safety issues for the workers and reduces overall productivity. Current procedures require production to be shut down when extremely large trusses come off the assembly line, in order to reassign extra hands to help stack the truss. All-Fab asked our team to design an automated system that horizontally stacks trusses up to 60 feet long. Although All-fab creates trusses up to 80 feet in length, these trusses cannot be stacked horizontally as they cannot withstand being lifted by a forklift in the horizontal position. Due to time constraints, our team has decided (with approval from the customer) to leave the existing vertical stacking system in place for when longer trusses come off the assembly line. Our client has given us a budget of $ 30 000, however, after speaking with Professor Balakrishnan (November 8, 2010), an expert in the field of robotics, we saw that complete automation could not be achieved with the existing budget. During the design phase we tried to minimize cost as much as possible. Despite our best efforts, staying within the given budget proved to be impossible. Our final design is a horizontal truss stacking system that was modified from an existing design created by Clark Industries . Our design uses lead screws in order to raise and lower the trusses, as well as a removable I-beam that nests within a CChannel beam allowing the trusses to be moved left and right. In order to move the trusses, we have decided to use a roller system. Our entire project is electrically powered and designed to work outdoors in Winnipeg’s extreme climate. The stacking system on the ground is a simple system that uses railway ties and gusseted steel poles. Although our project was unable to be achieved within the original budget, we felt that this system is a viable option for solving the horizontal stacking problem at All- Fabrications Incorporated.