Polyurethane cuff dipping machine design review
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Polyurethane Cuff Dipping Machine Design Review. Todd Clark Noah Hopson Jason Johnson Chris Knowlton Kris Koster Mike Schierbeek. Overview. Design a fixture/machine that can: Manufacture polyurethane cuffs to a predetermined thickness using pre-existing mandrels for the cuffs.

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Polyurethane cuff dipping machine design review

Polyurethane Cuff Dipping Machine Design Review

Todd Clark

Noah Hopson

Jason Johnson

Chris Knowlton

Kris Koster

Mike Schierbeek


  • Design a fixture/machine that can:

    • Manufacture polyurethane cuffs to a predetermined thickness using pre-existing mandrels for the cuffs.

    • Measure the viscosity of the polyurethane solution

    • Reduce or eliminate bubbles that appear in the solution.

Process overview
Process Overview

  • Polyurethane solution is created by dissolving polyurethane pellets in a solvent

  • A stainless steel mandrel is then dipped into the polyurethane solution

  • The solvent flashes from mandrel, leaving only the polyurethane

  • This polyurethane is left as a thin layer over the mandrel


  • Design a polyurethane cuff dipping machine capable of:

    • Producing quality cuffs

      • Reduce bubbles in the dip solution

      • Ensuring a fully mixed dip solution

      • Using a smooth dipping profile

    • Accepting multiple part programs

    • Monitor process parameters

      • Active viscosity control

      • Ambient temperature and humidity


  • Budget of $25,000

  • Use a dipping system that will eliminate sparking

    • No brushed DC motors

  • Use materials that are compatible with Tetrahydrofuran (THF)

  • Clean room compatible


  • Dipping

    • Must be able to dip two 15 in. mandrel bars

    • Minimum velocity of 0.04 in/sec

  • Store 1 gal. of THF solvent for viscosity adjustment

  • Store 2 gal. of premixed polyurethane for dip tank level adjustment

  • Fits through a standard 32 inch door

  • Store multiple part programs

  • Operating and maintenance access should be on one side

Scope of work
Scope of Work

  • Research

    • Polyurethane dipping process

    • Polyurethane solution mixing

  • Design

    • Size components

    • Determine component placement with overall ergonomics in mind

  • Construction

    • Assemble frame

    • Place components

    • Wire machine

  • Testing/Calibration

    • Programming

    • Test program

    • Calibrate viscometer


  • MayTec aluminum extrusion

  • Durable and sturdy machine platform

  • All components contained within the frame

Linear actuator
Linear Actuator

  • Stepper motor driven

    • Easily controlled

    • Accurate positioning

  • Ball screw linear system

    • Smooth motion profile

    • Accurate positioning

    • Long operating life

  • Speed range of 0.04 in/sec to 0.8 in/sec

Mandrel bar rotator

Two pneumatic rotary actuators

40 in lbs of torque at 80 psi (each)

Smooth rotation

Adjustable speed

Based on air flow

Rotation along the long axis of the mandrel bar

Uniform velocity for all mandrels

Eliminates solution ‘creep’ due to excessive movement

Mandrel Bar Rotator

Dip tank
Dip Tank

  • Stainless steel construction

  • Accepts (2) ten mandrel bars

  • Level is monitored by a capacitive proximity sensor

  • Incorporates:

    • Viscometer

    • Solution/Solvent fittings

    • Drain

    • Magnetic Stir Bars


  • Cambridge Viscosity viscometer

  • Inline process model

  • Adapted for in tank operation

  • 2.5-50 Cps sampling range

  • Continuous viscosity sampling

  • 4-20 mA analog output for viscosity adjustment

Dip tank lid
Dip Tank Lid

  • Seal eliminates unwanted solvent evaporation

  • Eliminates solution contamination

  • Dual pneumatic cylinders operate lid system

  • Guides move lid off and behind tank for dipping

Mixing system
Mixing System

  • Based on proven laboratory stir plate technology

  • Three stir bar magnetic couplers

  • Belt driven system

  • AC induction motor controlled by VFD

Reservoir system
Reservoir System

  • Tanks are stainless steel pressure vessels

  • Fluid level is monitored by capacitive proximity sensor

  • Solution and solvent transferred to the dip tank via stainless steel braided PTFE hose

  • Flow controlled by needle valve and PLC controlled solenoid

  • Tanks are attached to a drawer to make changing easier

Guard system
Guard System

  • Dipping door is operated by two pneumatic air cylinders

  • Controlled by palm buttons via PLC

  • Safety bumper switch prevents operator from being pinched

Hmi controller

Allows user to change process parameters

Allows manual operation of system components

Displays process parameters to the operator

Displays machine status

HMI Controller

Overall system
Overall System

  • Compact Size

    • 30” wide x 40” deep x 68” tall

  • Meets required specifications

  • Safe and ergonomic design

  • Maintenance oriented

  • Fully adjustable dipping process


  • Project budget of $25,000

  • Estimated completion cost of $23,500


  • Begin Ordering Parts – April 30th

  • Begin Construction – May 5th

  • Begin Programming – May 12th

  • Finish Construction – June 10th

  • Finish Programming – June 23rd

  • Testing and De-bugging through July 7th