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Design Of Machine Systems A Technical Elective

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.188.1 - 3.188.10



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David G. Tomer

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

Session 1263

Design of Machine Systems - a Technical Elective

David G. Tomer ASEE/Rochester Institute of Technology

Abstract The author has proposed, developed, piloted and now teaches a course at Rochester Institute of Technology entitled Design of Machine Systems. Over the past two years, it has been successfully offered as a technical elective to 4th and 5th year students in RIT’s 5-year, co-op based, BS in Mechanical Engineering program. It is nominally a follow-up to the classical Machine Design course, but the focus is quite different, concentrating on system design as opposed to component design. The course is intended to teach the student the basics of properly selecting and integrating nominally off-the-shelf components, such as mechanical drive components [belts, chains, bearings, etc.], fluid power devices, motors, and even electronic control components, into sequential and time-based machine systems. One could easily dismiss the course as attempting to teach and promote catalog engineering design. While that is certainly a part of the course, it is much more. It is indeed an engineering design challenge to properly integrate standard and custom-designed components into a successful automatic machine. The author would also argue that much design in industry is done that way, and we are remiss if we do not offer the rudiments of that process to our engineering students. A very important component of the course is an attempt to give the Mechanical Engineering student a conversational knowledge of related fields, especially Electrical Engineering and controls, which is necessary in today’s environment. In that context, this course is similar to a course in Mechantronics, but, based on the content of texts that have been reviewed, differs in emphasis and breadth of coverage.

Introduction We, as engineering educators, currently strive to introduce ever-increasing design content into our courses. In attempting that, we sometimes teach the students to reinvent and redesign the wheel, and not teach that which we really should be teaching. Mechanical Engineering students choose elective courses which interest them, and will hopefully ease their transition into industry. Most, however, do significant learning after arriving at their place of employment: On-the-Job- Training is an important part of an engineer’s continuing education. It has been my experience that one area, which typically relies almost completely on OJT, is automated equipment design, or, to use the course name, Design of Machine Systems. By this I mean the integration of mechanical, electrical, pneumatic, hydraulic, etc. components into a device, subsystem or machine system which accomplishes the desired motion or other function, performs it reliably, within the required time, with a satisfactory level of quality, and with a satisfactory operator interface. This field typically does not involve the detailed analysis and design of all of the individual components, but rather the selection of “pre-engineered” components which are

Tomer, D. G. (1998, June), Design Of Machine Systems A Technical Elective Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7017

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