June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.76.1 - 8.76.8
A Multi-Disciplinary Mechatronics Laboratory
Mrudula Ghone and John Wagner, Ph.D., P.E. Departments of Mechanical and Electrical/Computer Engineering Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634-0921
Abstract: The global engineering market requires engineers who embrace a mechatronics perspective with critical systems skills for participation on multi-disciplinary teams. Mechatronic systems focus on the harmonious integration of electronics, sensors, actuators, and digital technology into dynamic systems. In this paper, a series of mechatronic laboratory experiments are presented for hardware and software skill achievement. The electronic circuit exercises introduce signal conditioning concepts, as well as the selection of semiconductor components. Programmable logic controller (PLC) algorithms are created using ladder logic on Allen Bradley equipment. A National Instruments multiple input/output board and LabView software regulate the operation of pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders, as well as the dc servo-motor with electric brake for performance studies.
1. Introduction The twenty-first century engineer must be proficient at working on multi-disciplinary engineering teams for manufacturing, consumer, and defense products. The integration of electrical, mechanical, chemical, aeronautical, and marine systems with assorted sensors, actuators, and embedded microprocessors requires a holistic (mechatronics) engineering strategy to yield products with greater functionality, reliability, and compatibility. The prevalence of mechatronic systems is becoming widespread throughout society as evident by the transportation, consumer products, health care, and manufacturing sectors [1,2] shown in Figure 1. Today's engineering graduates require a mechatronics background in addition to the engineering fundamentals, communication skills, and leadership qualities necessary to successfully compete and prosper in the global market.
The introduction of mechatronics concepts  in the industrial workplace allows manufacturers enhanced flexibility in the customization and/or diversity of their products. For instance, the routing of specific items between various reconfigurable manufacturing cells requires intelligent conveyor systems with a multitude of sensors to identify and sort parts without operator intervention. Similarly, the successful fusion of sensor data, with control algorithms for servo- motor actuation, requires a team approach for conceptualization, implementation, and support to realize speed and quality goals. Finally, the transportation industry is developing advanced engine, transmission, chassis, and safety systems to provide increased vehicle performance, fuel economy, passenger safety, and comfort. In each instance, a mechatronics background facilitates the
Ghone, M., & Wagner, J. (2003, June), A Multi Disciplinary Mechatronics Laboratory Hardware And Software Skills Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12290
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