Modern Automation Technologies Professional Magazine


НаименованиеAutomated Control System of the Egg Sorting Machine


The egg-processing line developed by the Russian Federal Nuclear Center - All-Russian Institute of Theoretical Physics (VNIITF) was designed to automatically weigh eggs, sort them into five groups based on their weight, irradiate and mark them.

Russia does not produce egg-sorting machines, yet Russian government regulations require that eggs be sorted by weight and marked with their date of production prior to sale. Foreign production lines are beyond the budgets of most Russian poultry plants, but the VNIITF-designed line will be eight to ten times less expensive. The MS3-18I egg-sorting machine is a key component of the line.

The eggs are placed into a loading zone, go through a "stabilization" zone and an egg candling device, then enter the sorting zone, where they are placed on a scale and then moved onto a conveyer.

The control system for the MS3-18I includes weighing sensor and calibrating amplifier modules developed by VNIITF, and a control and measurement module (with a 6040 CPU, interface card and 4x20 LCD panel from Octagon System; Artesyn's NAL25-7610 and NAL25-7624 power supplies; Grayhill's 70G-OAC5A output module; and a peripheral interface card developed by VNIITF). The heart of the MS3-18I's control system is a 6040 PC microcontroller.

Signals from the weight sensors run through the amplifier and then through an analog-to-digital converter into the 6040 controller, which processes the signal, determines the category of the egg and, at the appropriate moment, sends a command through the digital output to electromagnets that move the egg onto the correct conveyer for its weight category. The results are stored in memory and can be displayed at any time by the operator.

The control and measurement module maintains the sorting regime in the event of a stoppage; stores information on the sorting in the event of accidental power interruptions; calibrates the scales; monitors the numbers of eggs sorted over its lifetime; allows for information on the sorting results to be sent through an RS-485 connection up to 1.2 kilometers; and provides the code for marking the eggs with their category and date of preparation.

The marking unit has been developed and tested. A 6040, for which special software was written, controls the marking unit.

The equipment from Octagon Systems, Grayhill, Wago and Artesyn is notable for its ability to stand up to interference, its measurement precision and its ease of application.

The MS3-18I was installed in the Chelyabinsk Poultry Plant in April 1998 and has been successfully tested.


The MS3-18I egg-sorting machine

By Victor Bukin, Aleksandr Vasilyev, Dmitriy Gutnikov,
Yevgeniy Pavlov and Yurii Ufimtsev

Victor Bukin,  Alexander Vasilyev,  Dmitry Gutnikov,  Evgeny Pavlov,  Yuri Ufimtsev