Conveyor Belt Weighted Sorting System With Counter

Conveyor Belt

Programming Languages / Tools Used

Introduction

Collaborated with a team of 3 to engineer a conveyor belt sorting system designed to efficiently separate payloads between two different destinations based on their weight. Additionally, the system featured real-time payload counting, tracking those surpassing the predefined weight threshold and those falling below it. My roles in the group were:

  • Arduino Programming (C++)
  • Merge of coding
  • Testing on Breadboard
  • Servo motor implementation, coding and testing
  • Ultrasonic sensor implementation, coding and testing
  • Strain gauge (FSR) coding and testing
  • Simulations / Schematics

My main role was to program this system and make all the different motors work together. This meant implementing an innovative sensing solution utilizing Force-Sensing Resistor (FSR) technology, which interfaced with an Arduino microcontroller. This FSR sensor would trigger the activation of the conveyor belt motor and a servo mechanism upon detecting packages exceeding a specified weight which would direct them to their designated location. Finally, the amount of payloads in the different locations as well as the current weight of the payload on the FSR sensor was presented to the user on an LCD.

Features and Functionality

  • Efficient Payload Separation:

    • Designed to separate payloads between two destinations based on weight.
    • Utilizes a conveyor belt system to automate the sorting process.
  • Real-Time Payload Counting:

    • Tracks and counts payloads that surpass or fall below the predefined weight threshold.
    • Ensures accurate sorting and accounting of payloads in real-time.
  • Advanced Sensing Solution:

    • Implemented Force-Sensing Resistor (FSR) technology for weight detection.
    • FSR sensor triggers the activation of the conveyor belt motor and a servo mechanism.
    • The system directs packages to their designated locations based on weight detection.
  • Arduino Microcontroller Integration:

    • FSR sensors interfaced with an Arduino microcontroller for precise control and automation.
    • Arduino handles real-time processing of sensor data and motor control signals.
  • Motor Coordination:

    • Programmed to ensure all motors work seamlessly together for efficient operation.
    • Includes the conveyor belt motor and servo mechanism for directing payloads.
  • User Interface:

    • Payload data is displayed on an LCD screen for easy monitoring.
    • Shows the amount of payloads in different locations and the current weight of the payload on the FSR sensor.

How it works

Here below is a simulation of how each component is connected to the Arduino so that It is possible to control them all in one place so they can communicate with each other and work in sync.

Ultrasonic Sensor to Servo Motor:

When the ultrasonic sensor detects an Item in the set distance, it communicates with the 1st servo motor to extend.  The use case of the servo motor is to push the payload onto the running conveyor belt.

Servo to LED counter:

Every time the 1st servo motor is activated, it updates the LCD with the total amount of items scanned. This is done by the ultrasonic sensor detecting that there is a payload above the FSR sensor.

FSR sensor to 2nd Servo Motor:

If the payload weighs over a certain amount from what the FSR sensor picks up, the 2nd servo motor will extend its arm to guide the payload to its designated area. If the package weighs under the set weight, the 2nd servo motor will not extend so that the package can go straight through to the end of the conveyor belt. This allows for 2 different areas for the payloads.

Future Improvements

  • Introduce machine learning algorithms to dynamically adjust sorting criteria based on historical data, improving accuracy and efficiency.
  • Connect the conveyor belt sorting system with existing inventory management software to streamline operations.
  • Develop a dashboard that provides real-time analytics on sorting performance, payload distribution, and system efficiency.

Conclusion

The development of the conveyor belt sorting system was a significant achievement, showcasing the practical application of engineering principles and innovative technologies. Working collaboratively with a team to design a system that efficiently separates payloads based on weight using FSR technology and an Arduino microcontroller has not only enhanced the operational efficiency but also provided a real-world platform to implement and test theoretical concepts. This project also served as a great opportunity to deepen my understanding of sensor technology, motor coordination, and real-time data display.

Copyright © 2024 | Anish Patel

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