Asee peer logo

Automated Vehicle Cleansing System A Laboratory Project In Fluid Power

Download Paper |


1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.88.1 - 2.88.3

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Nikhil K. Kundu

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1426

Automated Vehicle Cleansing System A Laboratory Project in Fluid Power

Nikhil K. Kundu Purdue University

Abstract Fluid power plays a major role in the automation industry. Along with programmable logic controllers it belongs to the forefront of today’s technology. The purpose of this project is to introduce the importance of this industry in the college level and train students of mechanical engineering for the challenge they are going to face in future.

Almost everybody is familiar with an automated vehicle cleansing system but the activities and equipment behind the scene are like black box to many. This project deals with the design and building of a seven ft. by three ft. table top model of an automated vehicle cleansing system operated by programmable logic controllers including almost all phases involved in a real car wash operation. The paper first describes the design and operation of the system and then explains the controls to run the processes and automating the entire operation.

Introduction The first couple of years engineering courses deals with abstracts and isolated materials without much reference to real world applications. This project was assigned to a group of students in an attempt to introduce a number of systems by design and manufacturing approach.

First students learn basic engineering concepts in hydraulics in sophomore year, after which they were assigned this project in the junior year. as a partial requirement for a junior level course in fluid power. Students are highly motivated by the design and construction approach. This encourages students to work in teams and solve problems using engineering fundamentals. They learn to cooperate as team members and gain practical hands on experience. The objective of this project is to design a fully automated vehicle cleansing system using hydraulic and pneumatic systems operated by programmable logic controller.

Design In the design phase students have the opportunity to use their knowledge of fluid power elements they learnt previously in a basic hydraulic course. Through a project they get more insight of the elements such as pumps, control valves, piping, fittings, and their installation including wiring for electrohydraulic and electropneumatic systems. Parts selection was based on design calculations followed by manufacturers catalog search. In the selection process students contact manufacturers and vendors, and in doing so they become familiar with various types of parts of different quality and costs. In most cases the manufacturers or vendors were very supportive of student projects and ended up donating the required parts for the project. In some cases compromises were made and somewhat comparable parts were used for the model system.

The automated vehicle cleansing system consist of nine major stations - Pre-soak water station, soap spray, curtain and rocker panel sprayer, side brushes, water rinse, wax station, and air dry station. Hydraulic systems (fig.1and fig. 2) operate the water rinse, soap spray, water spray, and wax spray. Pneumatic systems (fig.3) operate spinning curtains, and the rocking curtains. The entire system is controlled by an Allen Bradley SLC500 programmable logic controller. Couple of team members had some previous knowledge of ladder logic from coursework or industry experience which was very helpful in the successful completion of this project.

Hydraulic System (fig. 1 and fig. 4) The first hydraulic system is used for overhead spray at four stations. It consist of a diaphragm pump P1 with 0-13 gpm capacity at 100 psi. and four solenoid valves V1, V2, V3, and V4. The second hydraulic system (fig.2) is used to pump and spray soap at two stations. It consist of two 3 gpm, 45 psi diaphragm pumps P2 and P3.

Pneumatic System (fig. 3 and fig. 5)

Kundu, N. K. (1997, June), Automated Vehicle Cleansing System A Laboratory Project In Fluid Power Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1997 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015