Carton Off-Piler Design

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Bodino, John de Marco
Evans, Matthew
Singh, Biryadwinder
Vu, Thanh Nguyen
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Graphic Packaging International (GPI) has tasked Team 8 with designing a carton off-piler device capable of accommodating varying pallet groove configurations to improve the current carton off-piling process. Pallets with different carton styles are required to be separated to prevent product mixing. The current process utilizes a modified hand truck with fixed loading arm width which limits both the size and weight of carton piles which can be unloaded and offloaded. Therefore, GPI aims to improve the process by accommodating all possible pallet groove configurations while reducing the manual operator input and increasing safety. Based on team brainstorming and client input, the concept development phase involved generating concepts for four individual design subcomponents of the off-piler design including adjustable width, loading, stability, and lift. Careful consideration was taken towards client recommendations and the possibility of using a commercially available material handling solution as a design base to modify, decreasing cost and complexity. The final design concept to proceed for Phase 3 consists of a lead thread rod to adjust the off-piler’s width from adjustable width concepts, extended caster wheels to support the maximum load and provide frame stability from loading concepts, a clamp mechanism to secure carton piles during transportation from stability concepts, and a manual hydraulic lift to provide clearance between the carton pile and the pallet from the lift concepts. The concepts selected for Phase 3 are compatible with each other and the decisions were made by considering the client needs and input. The team performed a design development stage where a base model was selected to start with the final design and this base structure was rated for 880 pounds. The further selected components included the threaded rods for the adjustable width, side plate for the loading mechanism with approximate waist height adjust the width of the off-piler arms, the center support bracket to attach the threads in the center of the design, lifting off-piler arm to load the carton piles, the clamp mechanism for the stability and the hydraulic lift which is already attached to the base structure to lift the carton piles. The selected material for the side plate and center support bracket is 7-gauge carbon steel while for the off-piler arms is 0.5” thick alloy steel. The team performed numerical and analytical analysis to further justify the material selection and making sure that the design can withstand the maximum load of 800 pounds. The critical safety of factor is 1.94 for the ACME screw which is used for the adjustable width. The final off-piler design can be adjusted within 2.50” to 20.00”. The manufacturing process is also included along with the engineering drawings to make sure that the off-piler design can be easily manufactured by the client. FMEA analysis was performed to mitigate the risks or failure of the final design. Braking issues for the whole off-piler design has the highest RPN value of 162 which can be reduced by preliminary testing. The approximate total weight of the full assembly is 218.19 lbs. The cost analysis was also performed, and the approximate total design cost is $5,743.53 which is within the provided budget of $25,000. The final off-piler design meets all the client needs and specifications identified from Phase 1. The off-piler can be operated from the either vertical or the horizontal rods attached at the back of the base structure. The back wheels are the caster wheels which are used to maneuver the design while the front wheels are fixed and will go under the pallet. The handles attached on the side are used to adjust the width of the off-piler arms and are designed to be around the waist level so that the operator does not have to bend to adjust the width. The clamp is designed in such a manner that the operator can adjust the clamp from the vertical rod to move the clamp up and down and the clamp will rest on top of the carton piles. Another key feature for the clamp is that there is threaded rod attached at the plate of the clamp to tighten the clamp on top of the piles to secure the transportation of the load. Moreover, this clamp sub-assembly is also attached to the loading subassembly so that the clamp will also be lifted along with the whole carton piles which helps to prevent any damage to the carton piles. In conclusion, the final off-piler design is safe to operate, robust, and ergonomically friendly.
Mechanical Engineering