UBC Theses and Dissertations
Design and development of an automated can filling system for fish Singh, Gurjeet
Salmon processing is a five hundred million dollar industry in British Columbia. This research is a part of the work undertaken in the Industrial Automation Laboratory at the University of British Columbia to develop advanced, low-cost technology for flexible automation in the fish processing industry. The scope of the research reported in this thesis is limited to the design' and development of an automated can-filling system for fish. Higher operating speeds, improved filling accuracy and waste reduction, better versatility and process flexibility, improved product quality and presentation, and a greater level of automation are some of the key objectives of the research. These are addressed in the thesis. The performance of the existing special purpose machines is examined in detail to identify problem areas and their possible causes. Alternative conceptual designs are studied, that would eliminate these problems. An appropriate design is chosen and further analyzed and developed. The particular design chosen uses weight-based portion control of fish as opposed to the existing volume-based processing and portion compacting. This new approach is expected to provide improved accuracy and product quality. The proposed design for an automated canfilling system is developed up to the stage of component specification and selection that would meet the industrial requirements. Also, a cost-benefit analysis is made for the proposed can filling system, with a critical comparison with the existing technology. Laboratory experiments have been carried out to check the suitability of the design. In particular, an experimental prototype for the filling system has been designed, built and employed to test the filling effectiveness of the proposed system. The experimental results are evaluated and further improvements are recommended for the can-filling system.
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