Gautam Agarwal

“Servo Driven Inline-Orienter to Deliver the Containers in Proper Orientation to a Filling, Labeling or a Capping Machine During a Packaging Process”

By

Gautam Agarwal

Committee Members: Prof. Akram Hossain , Prof. Masoud Fatizadeh , Prof. Lash Mapa

Abstract

Proctor and Gamble, the manufacturer of the Swiffer® Dust and Shine Furniture Spray Container is looking for a solution to correctly orient the Valve Cup of the Swiffer® container. Because by appropriately positioning the valve cup that in turn will orient the dip tube according to Figure 1(Position 3) will allow customers to utilize the entire liquid product in the Can and manufacturer would not have to overfill to compensate for the unused portion of the liquid. In order to solve the problem of orientation the manufacturer decided to print registration marks on the Swiffer® Can and on the Valve Cup. Figure 1 below shows the problem of the dip tube not making contact with the liquid product. Figure 2 shows the printed registration marks on the Valve Cup of the Swiffer® Container. Figure 3 below shows a detailed view of the Spray Cap Valve System.

Figure 1. Different Container Positions showing problem of the dip tube not making contact with the liquid product

Different Container Positions showing problem of the dip tube not making contact with the liquid product

Figure 2. Swiffer Container’s Valve Cup with Printed Registration Mark

Swiffer Container's Valve Cup with Printed Registration Mark

Figure 3. A Detailed View of the Liquid Spray Valve System

A Detailed View of the Liquid Spray Valve System

In connection to this problem Proctor & Gamble conducted market research analysis and reported that a huge number of customers complained about not being able to consume the complete contents of the Swiffer® product because of the unpredictable orientation of the dip tube (Bendis, 2010). This unpredictable orientation of the dip tube happens because of two reasons, first the spray container has a fixed actuator hand position and second the Swiffer® container is not transparent, thus the consumer cannot see which way the dip tube is facing in the bottom of the container. Because of the unpredictable position of the dip tube, the consumer does not know which way to hold the Can and spray. Without the correct orientation of the dip tube according to Figure 1(Position 3), the manufacturer of this container ends up filling 280 gm product into the Can which is only suppose to dispense 275 gm (Bendis, 2010). Position 2 in Figure 3 shows the problem of not being able to utilize the liquid product out of the Swiffer® Can, as there is no contact or very little contact of the dip tube with the liquid inside the can. Therefore if the Can is held in Position 2 and the actuator is pressed, no liquid will come out of the Can.

The objective of this project is to solve the problem of orienting the dip tube in the Swiffer Can. The correct orientation will allow the customer to utilize almost all the liquid in the can which in turn will save money that the manufacturer was spending for overfilling the can. This solution will also improve customer satisfaction about using spray products that are similar to the Swiffer® product and manufactured by Proctor and Gamble.

The Inline Orienter designed and fabricated in this project will solve the problem of orienting the Valve Cup on the Swiffer Can so that the manufacturer fills only an adequate quantity of Swiffer® liquid into these Cans, allowing the end-user to utilize most of the Swiffer product. The amount of overfilled liquid product into these Cans causes a tremendous addition to the material cost of Swiffer® product (Bendis, 2010).

This project is to design and fabricate a servomotor driven in-line orienter system that orients the Valve Cup of the Swiffer® Can to the registration mark provided on the Can, which in turn orients the dip tube to the correct position. The designed Inline orienter would have a machine throughput of 300 containers per minute, a requirement of the project by Proctor & Gamble.

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