The six-bar linkage mechanism is a gripper designed to pick bottles and re-orient them. Because bottles vary greatly, the design is independent of bottle shape and scalable. Since the orientation of bottles on the input conveyor is not set, the design is also independent of their original neck position on the input conveyor. Since time is key to successful industrial processes, the design is modular and several systems are able to work in parallel.
After having conceived the mechanism, we generalized its synthesis by finding a single equation that allows the lengths of single links to be determined upon the definition of the trajectory and size of the object to be picked and rotated.
In the bottles filling industry, at a certain point of the production line, bottles have to be oriented to a vertical upright position in order to be filled. In general, bottles have to be picked from a conveyor where they lay flat, after the unscrambling process, erected and moved to another conveyor leading them to the filling station. Fameccanica Data Spa unscrambling process leaves the bottles flat and orderly spaced among each other in an input conveyor. The space in between bottles depends on bottle sizes, which can vary greatly. Even if the shape can also vary, all bottles can be inscribed in a cuboid of dimensions c ×b ×a . While all bottles are flat, laying on one of their widest surfaces, their orientation is not set by the unscrambling system, so that they can lay either in one or in the other direction presenting their neck toward one or the other side of the input conveyor. Since the velocity of the input conveyor varies in the range of 0 . 4 −0 . 7 m/s and its length is approximately six meters, a bottle goes from the beginning to the end of the input conveyor in approximately ten seconds. This means that the process is high speed.