Our Solution

Our solution to the problem statement consisted of designing and fabricating three items.  These items were a loading fixture, an air powered insertion gun, and a clip to transfer the vents from the loading fixture to the insertion gun.

Loading Fixture:

The loading fixture is a vibratory bowl and vibratory rail that work together to load a clip.  Vents are put into the vibratory bowl by hand.  The action of the vibratory bowl causes the vents to climb a helical track inside the the vibratory bowl.  Using an air jet and some special geometry cut into the bowl, only the vents that are oriented face down make it onto the vibratory rail.  The vibratory rail has a very fine groove (.015") machined in the bottom of it that the vent slots align on.  The vibrations in the vibratory rail cause the vents to slide into the clip, which has the same groove.

   Loading Fixture

The Clip:

The clip has the same fine groove in the bottom of it, and it has a lid that keeps the vents from coming of off the groove.  It is spring loaded in a way that is very similar to a stapler.

  Vent insertion gun and clip  

Insertion Gun:

The insertion gun uses an air chisel and spring loaded ram rod to drive the vents into the holes in the aluminum molds.  The clip feeds vents into the hole in the side of the insertion gun body, and the vents are moved from the clip to the end of the insertion gun barrel by pumping the action of the insertion gun.

     Complete System