Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Peach pits can break during processing into several small fragments and are difficult to see and remove from the peach. Wawona Frozen Foods is asking for a fully designed, built and tested prototype that can detect these pit fragments with ease and speed. Our design uses an array of needles that puncture into a peach half. A pressure sensor measures the force on the needles and determines whether or not each needle hit the peach flesh or a pit fragment. The array of needles consists of 313 needles each with a diameter of 0.6 mm with a total array diameter of 1.5 inches. The needle array puts a maximum force of 12 lbs compression on the peach half when the needles are puncturing into peach flesh. Our device works for peaches that range from 2-3 inches in diameter. Testing has shown that the needles do not change the integrity or taste of the peach.
Our design was built and tested over 3 months and improved as necessary. All feedback from Wawona during the Critical Design Review was be incorporated into the final prototype.