This gate diverts plastic bottles as required downstream. The previous design of the 2-2 gate had one plate moving in 25" increments as shown below. The overall dimensions of the old gate were 48" wide & 137" long.
This picture shows bottle paths in red for each old gate position.
The gate has a default position where each lane flows through independently. Shown above on the left side.
Either an upstream condition (blowmolder down for maintenance) or a downstream condition (labeler down to replace label spools) causes the gate to go into a shift mode.
The gate then supplies bottles to keep the downstream lanes full and the upstream lanes as empty as possible (to avoid line shutdown) using feedback from photoeyes.
This was a re-design of a previous AMT gate. I was tasked with (1)lowering the switch times, (2)lowering the intertia (moving mass) of the gate, and (3)making the gate smaller while still allowing for the largest bottle (3 Ltr) to pass through. The picture below shows the bottle pathways of the new gate.
I was able to lower the switch times by making the distance traveled 17" instead of 25". Also because the moving mass was rougly half of the old gate the acceleration and deceleration periods were more efficient. The reason that the old gate was so big was for the packaging of the pneumatics and ensuring that the moving plate never exceeded the exterior of the gate frame. Again, because the stroke was reduced by 8" each way (16" total) the exterior dimensions were reduced to 48" wide by 101" long.
The gate that I developed for Ball Container was to be a pneumatic gate with a single dual-stage cylinder controlling the motion of the plate. My design was later adapted to a servo-pneumatic gate design that is shown in these pictures because that was the gate that was tested. The bottles shown in the videos are 32oz Gatorade bottles and each slug of bottles going through the gate is 51 bottles long. Keep in mind that in these videos both the servo and the bottle stop were controlled by manual valves rather than a PLC.
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