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T-Cork hopper/sorter design help

  1. Oct 4, 2015 #1
    First post here. Looking forward to what I find here. I've always enjoyed fabricating and what not.

    So my dad opened a distillery and I went down to help out with bottling last week. It's an assembly line for sure. Each person has one job and you just pass the bottle to the next guy. Well whoever puts the cork in does it with his hand and after an hour of that your palm gets sore so I figure I can fix that. I've got a way to get the cork in, now I just need a hopper/sorter/orienter so the cork arrives ready to be pushed the right way.

    Here's what I got so far; imagine a vibrating aluminum cylinder. The bottom is a cone where the center is barely higher than the outside edge so that the corks make there way to the wall. The inside of the wall has a ramp that wraps around and around and gradually gets skinnier near the top so that the corks fall off unless they are oriented the right way. Then they would exit the hopper and enter a slide rail that delivers the cork to the capper. The corks that aren't sitting the right way fall back to the bottom and start over.

    So how do I get the vibrations to make the corks climb? Is there a certain frequency I need to look for or what? I have no engineering education so if this is something simple then I apologize in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 4, 2015 #2


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  4. Oct 4, 2015 #3
    Getting a part to move down hill is problematic enough for vibratory feeders. You might want to rethink your design if the corks need to move on an upward slope.

    Are there any cork feeders on the market you can look at to get an idea of what others do? I'm sure there are a few out there as we've been bottling for a few years now? Some of those manufacturers might even have a feeder that would work for you so you don't have to reinvent the machine.
  5. Oct 4, 2015 #4

    This is where the idea came from. Fabricating is a hobby and they are just starting out at the distillery so paying 10-12000 for one is out of the question. I just saw the video and thought that I could probably do something like that.

    From the video it looks like vibration is what drives the corks......if I'm wrong then tell me and help me keep my sanity lol.
  6. Oct 5, 2015 #5
    The whole unit is spinning clockwise all the way up, this is driving the corks up the ramp, I don't believe the system is vibrating.
    It's a decent idea, singulation of parts is a common application, and I've seen a couple of ways, the way they are doing it above looks to work, at a no doubt cost effective level.
    However if the actual problem is sore hands from capping bottles rather than cork separation are you not attempting to solve the wrong application? A person could load the capper manually (not the most glamorous of professions) and a machine could handle the capping process.
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