(12/16/2020) Our most recent video demonstration of the Marker Band Sorter

(12/10/2020) Below is our video for Senior Design Day at San Diego State University

Check out our Senior Design Day slides!

Google Slides link here


What are marker bands?

They are tiny metal, radiopaque rings that go on to many medical devices

Why is marker band sorting important?

Currently, quality assurance of marker bands is done by hand (and with a microscope) and it’s a very time-consuming process

Overview of the Marker Band Sorter

Problem Statement: 

The manufacturer, Johnson Matthey, is currently doing quality control of marker bands (small radiopaque metal bands) via manual inspection under a microscope. This process is tedious and time consuming, thus a streamlined and automated sorting method is desired.

Project Requirements: 

This system must be able to sort out colored marker bands from large batches of approximately 5,000+ pieces. It must be able to sort bands that fall below the following dimensions:

  • Outer Diameter Range: 0.070” – 0.170”
  • Wall Thickness Range: 0.0018” – 0.003”
  • Length Range: 0.020” – 0.125”

The system must also be able to pause for 600ms under the camera.

Project Criteria: 

  • Machine must be tabletop size
  • Sort oversized marker bands if possible
  • Must be made out of medical grade material
  • Clearances in the machine must be large or small enough so marker bands do not get caught
  • Modular to sort a given batch of marker band sizes
  • The system must sort 125,000 parts per day. This is equivalent to approximately 1.44 marker bands per second.

Our Solution: 

An automated, machine vision sorter that sorts marker bands based on color, utilizing a Pixy2 Camera. This sorter is designed to be interchangeable with a Keyence XT-24 3D scanning camera, capable of measuring band length tolerance. In addition, this sorter will allow a bulk amount of marker bands to be automatically sorted into separate containers.

Check out our poster as well!