B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
A pharmaceutical company makes a product that requires them to extract medical grade salve from tubes so that it can be mixed with another salve. Currently, the company has workers manually twist off the caps and put the tubes into an extraction machine. This current method has caused several workers to develop wrist problems and does not allow the company to meet demand. A process was created to automate the removal of the caps from the salve tubes. A feed system was designed to be able to be able to be continuously loaded with multiple tubes and feed one tube at a time into the tube holder. A tube holder was designed to hold the body of a tube firmly so that the cap can be cut without salve being squeezed out. A cutting process was created based off of finite element analysis of the interaction of a blade tip and the tube. A blade cuts the cap off of the tube after it is fed into the tube holder. An assembly using two linear actuators was designed to move the tube holder over and up into the extraction machine consisting of a squeezing roll set. Motion analysis using data from real components found that the designed machine can run with a three second cycle time. This simulated cycle time would allow the company to meet their production demand. The designed machine would cost roughly $5,487.
Wicks, Collin A., "Automatic Salve Cap Removal" (2017). Honors Capstones. 211.
Northern Illinois University
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