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DIY Industrial Production Line Filling and Capping System

June 17, 2024 by Bob Odhiambo

This article presents a novel project aimed at addressing the challenges posed by manual production line processes by implementing an automated filling and capping system in a compact DIY design.

Features of the Prototype

The Main Features of the project include the following;

  • Non-contact control panel consisting of Capacitive sensors
  • Accurately rotating turn table.
  • High torque conveyor belt system.
  • High precision in Sensor detection and inspection.
  • Easy program loading and debugging.
  • 24V mini fluid pump.
  • DCV valve.
  • Double-acting cylinder.
  • Conveyor Belt.
  • Programmable Logic Control (PLC) Unit.
  • Mechanical structure.
  • Human Machine Interface (HMI)
  • RS232 Cable

Step-by-step Operations

The following is a step-by-step operation of the project; 

  1. Turn on the mains power using a circuit breaker, this will turn on the PSU.
  2. There is an E-stop button that has to be pressed. 
  3. Two push buttons act as the start and stop switches. To start the system's operation, touch on the HMI panel (Start). 
  4. When the object (bottle) is placed on the conveyor, and the optical sensor at the start point is triggered, the conveyor moves it to the filling station where there is a sensor to stop the conveyor for the filling process.
  5. The conveyor stops for the filling station and then fills for some time after which it stops.
  6. The conveyor moves the filled bottle to a turn table where capping and inspection are done on the already-filled bottle.
  7. After some specific turns on the turn table are made and the inspection process is done, the table turns to eject the perfect bottle. If the bottle has errors like having no cap, the turn table can be stopped to resolve the problem.

CAD Designs of the DIY Project

The design of this System was done using Autodesk Inventor Software for high accuracy and 

precision in parts.

The System design consists of;

  1. An entry conveyor moves the bottle toward the turn table.
  2. A turn table to rotate the object for the resultant processes.
  3. A filling unit.
  4. Cap holder.
  5. Cap Screwing Unit.

Below are orthographic views of the system;

CAD assembly of the whole project. Image used courtesy of Bob Odhiambo.

CAD assembly of the rotary platform. Image used courtesy of Bob Odhiambo.

HMI Design Implementation

The INOTOUCH Editor was used to design the INOVANCE IT6000 HMI Screen for a more 

interactive machine. The design has 2 pages, the main screen and the fill parameter screen. In the 

front page, filling and capping time can be set, and also is where the machine’s operations can be 

started or stopped. The second page has a fill parameter range (Full, Half, and Low), to aid in 

keying in the right timer range based on your filling needs.

The interactive human-machine interface that is used to change the fill parameters. Image used courtesy of Bob Odhiambo.

Software Implementation

In the software implementation, we utilize the GX works software to write PLC and Ladder logic 

Programs to automate the system. The written ladder program is loaded to the PLC using an 

RS286 interface cable.

The PLC program is attached in the resource section.

Video Showing The System In Action


Bob Odhiambo

Meet Bob Isaac Odhiambo, a dynamic individual who is at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and innovative engineering. Currently pursuing a degree in mechatronics engineering, Bob's passion for electromechanical systems and automation drives his journey of exploration and contribution.

With a keen interest in enhancing industrial processes, Bob has an impressive portfolio of accomplishments. His diverse expertise spans from PLC programming to mechatronics systems, showcasing his ability to transform ideas into functional realities. This journey has allowed him to develop a profound understanding of how technology seamlessly merges with mechanical systems to create efficient and automated solutions.

In addition to his engineering pursuits, Bob is also a proficient technical writer. He curates insightful technical articles and news pieces that delve into the intricacies of his field. As the mind behind "Bob Teaches Tech," his personal website, he shares his expertise with a global audience, offering valuable insights and practical knowledge to fellow enthusiasts and professionals alike. Some of his notable pieces are found in EE power and Control Automation.

Outside of his professional endeavors, Bob's creative spirit shines. He designs custom PCBs, seamlessly integrating his engineering prowess with artistic innovation. This fusion of skills translates into practical designs that drive technological advancements. Bob's dedication to staying updated with the latest industry trends is evident in his commitment to reading and experimenting with new technologies in his personal lab.

Bob Isaac Odhiambo is not only an accomplished engineer but also a thought leader and contributor to the evolving landscape of mechatronics, power electronics, and automation. With a passion for renewable energy applications, he has designed power electronic systems that redefine efficiency in this crucial sector. His multifaceted approach, coupled with his innate curiosity, positions him as a valuable asset in any project or team.

As a future mechatronics engineer, Bob remains committed to making significant contributions to the field through both his technical expertise and insightful writing. His dedication to progress, coupled with his unyielding curiosity, makes him a force to be reckoned with in the ever-evolving world of engineering.

LinkedIn Profile: Bob Odhiambo
Website: Bob Teaches Tech


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