June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
26.521.1 - 26.521.10
Development of a Low-cost Electromechanical Elevator for Programmable Logic and Embedded Controls TrainingAn interdisciplinary team of electrical and mechanical students has designed anelectromechanical lab setup that is suitable for a variety of exercises based around controlling atwo-car, three-floor elevator system. While straddling the electrical and mechanical curriculum,electromechanical systems are ubiquitous in industries from canning facilities to nuclear powerplants and are something that graduates of either discipline are likely to encounter in theworkplace. As such, it is important that students get hands on exposure to the programming andcontrol of electromechanical systems that are using industrially relevant equipment andtechniques.Many such training systems exist, but tend to be at price points that can make them prohibitive tomany programs. To maximize general availability, the design goals of this system were to have itbuilt around commercially available parts, be accessible by a remote student with live videofeeds, and have an overall materials budget of $12,000 for the complete setup. Another keycriteria for the design was that the overall control of the setup be selectable between twodifferent control modalities; in this case, a National Instruments embedded controller and anAllen-Bradley PLC.The system designed is a two-car three-floor elevator system containing 8 actuators, 22 sensors,14 switch inputs and 14 indicators. A design intent was to showcase a variety of differenttechnologies with the sensor and actuator selection. As an example, the final design includes aircylinders controlled by solenoid valves for door movement, and DC motors with encoderfeedback for achieving linear motion of the elevator cars. Similarly, the position of the cars anddoors are determined through a combination of encoders, light gates, proximity switches, andtouch sensors to broaden the student’s experience with available technologies. As a protectivefeature, all commands from either the embedded controller or PLC are routed through asupervisory controller to limit the speeds and travel of the elevator cars.
Browne, A. F., & Williams, W. B., & Loftus, K., & Benfield, C. (2015, June), Development of a Low-cost Electromechanical Elevator for Programmable Logic and Embedded Controls Training Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23860
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