Bottling Process Team
University of South Carolina, Eric Thorton, Curtis Braun, Robert Hansen, and Lucas Dull
When BioJoe decided to start making Tiki Fuel out of his bio-diesel he purchased a bottle filling machine, bottle capper, pallet wrapper, and various other accessories and reached out to the University of South Carolina to get a team of engineering students together specifically to modify the existing bottling machine to automatically and accurately fill bottles. BioJoe hoped that the team would be able to automate the system to use the net weight of the bottle to gauge the right fill amount with the least amount of human interface.
The team of interns that came together consisted of Mechanical Engineering students Eric Thornton, Curtis Braun, Robert Hansen, and Lucas Dull. Because all of the students working on this project were Mechanical Engineering students, they found the electrical modifications and programming issues to be the most challenging. But they were able to overcome these challenges with research and collaboration with students in the electrical engineering and computer science programs.
The Spring 2020 semester was interrupted across all U of SC campuses by the Covid-19 viral pandemic, which prevented this team from completing the machine set-up. In addition to the modifications completed, the integration of a load cell configuration, and various rewiring to accommodate components using both Alternating and Direct Current, the team was hoping to integrate a simple user interface to make machine operation as efficient as possible. The team does feel that this project has taught them new skills in time-management, researching, wiring, programming, and algorithm design that classes alone would not have. We at Green Energy Biofuel can’t wait to finish the project using the team’s excellent work!