New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
In a mechanical engineering technology, mechatronics engineering technology, agricultural engineering, or instrumentation program, the fluid power course can be an important part of the curriculum. We use Vickers Hydraulic trainers for hydraulics labs. The principles of pneumatics and control of pneumatic circuits lends itself particularly well to productive laboratory experiences in an instrumentation & control or mechatronics context to serve as a first introduction to PLC control. Pneumatic actuators and solenoid valves are relatively inexpensive and can provide fast motion that catches the eye in lab when incorporated into an appropriate trainer.
We have prototyped a PLC controlled pneumatics trainer and are in the process of building 4 to 5 double sided stand-alone trainers using components from 80/20 Inc., “Industrial Erector Set” for the cart with the help of senior project students. The students are writing and testing pneumatic experiment labs, as well as selecting and mounting components on the trainer carts to carry them out.
We are using pneumatic components from Bimba, Inc., 24 Volt DC PLCs from B & R Automation, and sensors from Balluff.
One experiment that will be shown and modeled with Automation Studio software is from the pneumatics and PLC chapters of the Esposito fluid power text. This type of experiment shows how a task is done using pneumatic components with sensor input and PLC control or optional push button control components. The comparison to previously done manually-controlled hydraulics experiments used for an analogous (but heavier duty) tasks is part of the motivation.
We will mention and perhaps show a short video of our JobMaster pneumatic trainer used for industrial type training to demonstrate push button control of relays and solenoid actuated pneumatic cylinders using stepped down 240 V three phase power as another contrast.
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