Development of a Grading Machine for Sea Urchins
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A preliminary study, conducted the fall of 2012, formed the basis for this master thesis. The thesis is issued by NTNU, and it is a part of a project in which Searis AS, Troms Kråkebolle and Norway Sea Urchins are participants. Searis AS is a start-up company, in which the student is a participant. Troms Kråkebolle and Norway Sea Urchins perform aquaculture farming, and wild catch, of sea urchins, respectively.The project was initated because of the need to automate the manual grading of sea urchins. The grading process is time consuming and increase cost for the customer. The grading involves sorting the sea urchins by their shell diameter, and removing foreign objects like stones.An iterative product development process formed the foundation for the results in this thesis. The process consited of; analysing user and customer needs and requirements, problem decomposition, development of solutions, ranking and rating, breakdown of principal solutions, tests, discussion and choice of concepts. Input for the designprocess was based on discussion with pilot customers; Troms Kråkebolle and Norway Sea Urchin, creative sessions with Searis AS, search for competitive products, computer simulations, and lab experiments.A complete system for the grading of sea urchins is proposed at principal level, and design for the for critical components of an automated grading machine is presented.The result of the thesis is a CAD?modell of a prototype of a grading machine. The CAD-modell consists of dimensions, materials, components, and assembly, and is a sketch on how a the prototype can be constructed.Experiments and simulations have strengthened the confidence in the solutions. And it is concluded that the design proposed in this thesis will be able to cover the needs for the customers.There is still parts that needs development before a complete prototype can be constructed.