What an insane amount of engineering for this insanely simple task


[On the other hand](https://i.imgur.com/EP3icFK.gifv)


Serves the purpose. The spring knocks out every nut that's flipped. The beveled edge is the key to this simplicity.


[Yep](https://i.imgur.com/mC52eIu.png). [Orienting onions](https://v.redd.it/5ckh1vrduae91) requires complicated machinery and computer vision, while [orientating plastic caps](https://i.imgur.com/GLqLUl9.gifv) just needs a hook. https://xkcd.com/1425/ (although with ML the comic got a bit out of date)


> https://xkcd.com/1425/ Spec is unclear. There are no hot dogs in this picture.


What's interesting is that today both tasks are (almost) equally simple. Pretrained neural networks has reduced seemingly impossible tasks to a single function call


>while > >orientating plastic caps > > just needs a hook. And a ledge.


Yes how does the ledge work? Why does that one on it’s side fall but the others don’t. Does it roll or something?


There's two ledges... The one you can see, and another vertical one at the top of the opposite side you can't see. A correctly oriented cap has a square cross section, and the corner that's diagonally opposed to the one riding the bottom ledge rides along the top ledge. A sideways one has a round cross section and fits between the ledges. Let's see if I can emoticon it without formatting borking it... °[ ]. Correct orientation. Corners of square ride on both rails. °O. Sideways oriented, will roll between rails and fall.


I watched it several times and couldn't figure out what was going on. I thought it had something to do with the orientation of the nut but why not just correct it rather than kicking it out? Then I slowed it down and saw that the edges were shiny for the ones that were kicked out.


There is a protruding (round) surface on one side of the nut that *doesn't* catch the lip in the track and the pressure of the spring forces it away.


But what if its round protruding surface is on another side?


When the round surface faces down, it doesn't catch the lip on the left of the track, so the spring flicks it off. When the round surface faces up, the other side of the nut has a rough edge which catches the lip, and the spring can't flick it off. The system is designed to only pass nuts that are curved side up onto the next stage.


Sort of.


It's actually a hook to orientate. Then a serrated bit for any that fall sideways. Then the bottom drops out for any that fall long ways.


Why is it orienting first and then later orientating?


Because no-one knows the difference, not even technical writers.


The real difference is that the former is American and the latter is British. It's just odd to switch style within the same sentence.


I guess they emigrated mid document?


> although with ML the comic got a bit out of date To be fair, that comic came out in 2014 -- so it has been a bit over five years :D


I really don't think you need computer vision to orient onions, you just exploit the one radial axis of symmetry and have it roll down a chute sort of mechanism. [Basically this](https://vanmark.com/en-us/Equipment/All-Equipment/Orienting-Roll)


"Optical system gets you is a wider tolerance for variations". There's an interesting thread [here](https://www.reddit.com/r/EngineeringPorn/comments/wa890u/machine_to_orientate_a_humble_onion_for_coring/ii0a3mq/).


Thanks, good read


ML as MatLab? EDIT: Had to look it up, it's machine learning. Why did you use an acronym of it?


It's a common initialism, especially in industry. When I see ML I immediately think machine learning also.


NGL took me way too long to figure out how that worked


I didn't get it right away either. At first I couldn't figure out why one or two of them got kicked out. Then I slowed it down and finally noticed that the edges were shiny on some but not all. That was the difference between the two, beveled edge.


Did you ever hear the story about a factory that had an issue with their manufacturing line sometimes messed up and occasionally their product didn’t get put in a box but the empty boxes continued down the line and were being shipped out to angry customers? They called in a consultant engineering firm that ended up designing a fancy (and expensive) way to measure the weight of the boxes at a few key points – if anything was ever too light, that section of the line would stop and an alarm would beep so an operator could go remove the empty box and restart the line. It worked great for a few days, then the managers realized that they weren’t hearing the alarm go off anymore and thought it might be broken. When they went down to the floor, the operators explained that they got tired of hearing the alarms go off so they set up a fan blowing across the line that would knock off any empty boxes before getting to the weigh point, which would have solved the problem from the beginning. I don’t know if that’s just an old wives’ tale for engineers, but I like the message a lot.


When I first heard that story probably 30 years ago, I thought it was about simple vs complex solutions. And it is. But reading it now I see it's also about not making people do something the system could do. Why all that fancy business and then just ring an alarm? You detected the problem--fix it!


As a manufacturing engineer, I’ve found that often times the operators are the best source for a fix. They sit in front of the problem a lot longer than any engineer does.


How does this work? Less friction cause the bevel allows the spring to flick it?


Essentially... the other side has a ridge that catches on a lip.


That is so cool




It's only simple for the extremely versatile machine known as the human hand. In fact, it's only simple hands if you use both of them--try putting a rubber band something with just one hand. I've often wondered how they did this.


When you simply don’t want to pay minimum wage


Is it putting the rubber bands on something or is this QC?


It's being put around some sort of sheet. You can see in the back they are folding sheets to feet into this machine and it stretches the elastic and a sheet comes in and is tied around it


It gets stretched into the thin square thing then moved over the sheet thingy then released so it is literally just putting a rubber band around a wrapped up thing


Is this better or worse than passing butter?


One of the arms only passes a single rubberband


“Oh my god”


“Yeah welcome to the club, pal.”


hey, still more purpose than i've got. chin up!


Join the club pal.


I’m glad someone else got it, I’m high


I checked comments expecting to see it and to my surprise…I got the honor


Don't get distracted by the rubber band picked up and hanging in the foreground. Pay attention to the background. (The unstretched rubber band waiting in the foreground is just the next one to be used.)


Thank you! I'm still having trouble seeing it though (is it just me?)


Even I'm lost.


Depending on the size of your display, it might just be impossible to see. In the first second of the clip, the spreader has just received a band and quickly expands to the point where it's mostly hidden. Ignoring what's happening in the foreground, a few seconds pass. The folded white thing comes into view, and the spread rubber band is moved over it and snaps into place. The spreader then moves toward the camera and the four arms move together, ready to accept another rubber band.


Those vibrational sorting machines are the coolest shit ever. They basically work by rejecting all items that are not in exactly the perfect position for whatever task gets done at the end of the track


“What is my purpose?”


*"This is the room where we test the stretching This is the room where we test the bounce Here we add the long-chain hydrocarbons The names of which I cannot pronounce!"*


Did Sonic crash there?




"Oh my god"


What is driving the bands up the basin? Airflow?




Check the security footage and you will find "not just rubber bands" to be accurate.


But this is so slow. I guess they just test it for a very small sample


Vibratory bowl feeders are the *shit*


The first few loops I watched this I thought the machinery had failed comically.


What's my purpose


The vibratory bowl alone is an highly specialized tool


Do not let the goatse guy see that machine.


Imagine what else it can do ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)


What’s the point of it


“What is my purpose” rick and morty


Refrain from applying one’s genitals upon the surfaces of this contraption