Devise a more efficient way to sort objects
engineering product design mechanical engineering food science food service industrial design
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When it comes to sorting cereal - high speed, efficient size sorting is a critical process for our business. Currently, we have a need for high speed accurate sorting of two tri-axial ellipsoid objects (see attachment to view objects). The possible dimensions for these shapes are as follows:

Shape #1
Length (c) 9mm
Width (b) 2.8mm
Thickness (a) 2.5mm

Shape #2
Length (c) 9mm
Width (b) 3.2mm
Thickness (a) 2.5mm

Traditionally, to separate these objects based on the differences in dimensions, we would use a screen (filter) with round holes. However, equipment that we have tested that uses these screens (e.g. rotary or flat vibratory screens) are an order of magnitude too slow per square foot of floor space for our business needs.

Sorting machine

We are seeking a space efficient and accurate method of separating these two shapes. At minimum, we need to filter an incoming stream at a rate of 36,000 pieces per minute per square foot of floor space. The incoming stream to be filtered is 50% Shape #1 and 50% Shape #2. After filtering, the Shape #1 stream should be at least 99.5% pure, and the filtered Shape #2 stream should be at least 95% pure.

Please submit:
1) A written description that describes your design and its functional attributes
2) An artistic rendering (drawing, diagram, mockup, etc.) of your design to show how it works

Avoid the following in your solutions:
1) Standard rotary or vibratory round-hole sifters or rotary screeners
2) Optical sorting

Additional Materials:
This challenge has received 20 submissions
Top 3 share $450 Next 3 share $150
$150.00 S University of South Florida
$50.00 T Purdue University
$150.00 R University of Florida
$50.00 J University of Florida
$50.00 A Cornell University
$150.00 Square pic profile pic University of Toronto
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