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Material Handling

Divert Chute

A local manufacturer of drinking cups requested that we redesign their existing divert chute to handle a higher throughput. This is the new design. It uses a high speed photo eye to detect the presence of cups and actuates using a very short stroke air cylinder for faster action.


We built a custom machine that handles plastic sheets typical of those used in bathroom stalls. It replaced a machine built in-house that performed slowly and poorly. Sheets that were to be used for swinging doors needed to have the hinge pin holes drilled in the ends. Since this typically took the longest cycle time, we built a two level drill station. If the lower station is full, the upper station drills. When sheets are put on the system they are identified by a specific job and are stacked together at the end. Sheets are tracked through the drill stations to ensure they arrive at the correct stack pile.

After drilling an optional heat sink is pressed into a slot on one end. The previous machine used a pneumatic press that was very time consuming. The new system uses a roller which inserts the heat sink at line speed. The gantry picks up the sheets and stacks them in the designated pile. Accuracy of placement is within ¼”. Each skid that the sheets are stacked on is lifted up with a scissors lift to reduce cycle time. An SEW Eurodrive drive controller is used to position the variable speed gantry drive. Control is by an Allen-Bradley SLC 500 PLC. SuhnerEconoMaster drills are used to drill the hinge pin holes.