Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
The GAF asphalt shingle production line in Shafter, CA requires continuous operation in order to maximize production efficiency. The assembly line process begins with feeding a large roll of fiberglass web into an accumulator. However, once the fiberglass roll approaches the end, it must be spliced with a new roll in order to maintain continuous feed into the production line. The splicing process must be fast and reliable to prevent any delay of the production line. Currently, this process is performed by two workers who manually feed the new fiberglass roll, align the two mats, cut the mats, apply glue between the mats, and press the mats together. In order to increase efficiency and reliability, GAF is looking to introduce automation to the splicing process and reduce the number of operators to one. The splices performed by the new automated process should also be at least as strong and reliable as the manual process to prevent an increase in splice failures down the production line.
The previous senior project team for GAF designed and built an automated gluing mechanism to be mounted on the existing press fixture. The objective of this project was to design, build, and test a system that will perform the cutting procedure of the splicing process without the need for two operators. This was achieved through a design that incorporates a rotary cutter to sever the mat and a limit switch to detect if there is a failed cut. This connects to the previous senior project’s linear actuator. The design has been validated in is ready for use on the production line.