For our final year capstone project (Humber College, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology) we were commissioned by a company in the automation consultation industry to design a machine for their customer. The customer, in the residential/commercial construction industry, wanted a machine to improve the efficiency and quality in assembling their product; aluminum fences.

With our machine we were able to cut down the total assembly time from 600 seconds to 200 seconds as well as reduce the time the operator is required during the operation from 600 seconds to 44 seconds. As a result of the faster production, we estimate that in the typical 8 hour day we can produce 130 fence assemblies; up from 53. We are also able to eliminate the entire process of punching that is currently in use as our machine uses self tapping screws.


Acts as a fixture and stops for handrails. Uses a conveyor to ensure the handrail is in the correct position against the stop. Pushes the entire handrail against the set pickets in one smooth motion via a single air cylinder. Ensures handrails are firmly placed in position while drilling is in process. Retracts once drilling is finished to create clearance for the operator and release of the assembly

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Consists of tooling, belts and tubing. Tooling is placed on extrusions mounted from end to end. Tooling will have X travel capabilities via pulleys and belt driven by stepper motors. It will have Z axis travel through an internal air chamber. Tubing is fed along non intrusive areas to provide the tooling with wiring and screws from the bowl feeder placed near the floor.


The concept of the gantry system is similar to a CNC machine or a 3D Printer. We designed the gantry to reduce the number amount of stepper motors, which allowed us to cut down on cost. In order to do this, we designed our own simple gear transmission, which is located in the rear pf the machine.

X and Y travel is achieved from stepper motors which transfer power through gears, shafts, pulleys and belts. This travel controls where the tooling should go, to fasten the pickets.

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Designed in SolidWorks. 

Animated in 3DSMax.

Rendered in KeyShot.