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Remotely Accessible Injection Molding Machine for Manufacturing Education: Lessons Learned

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Advances in Additive, Hybrid, and Digital Manufacturing Education

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Sheng-Jen Hsieh Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sheng-Jen (“Tony”) Hsieh is a Professor in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include engineering education, cognitive task analysis, automation, robotics and control, intelligent manufacturing system design, and micro/nano manufacturing. He is also the Director of the Rockwell Automation laboratory at Texas A&M University, a state-of-the-art facility for education and research in the areas of automation, control, and automated system integration.

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Many household products are produced using injection molding. An injection molding machine can be used to teach mold design, properties of materials, and manufacturing processes. Remote labs can be used to overcome equipment barriers such as cost and limited lab time, and to provide authentic and self-paced learning experiences. This paper describes the process of using an Arduino controller to make a manual injection molding machine automated and remotely accessible. The equipment was evaluated by students during lab time. Students responded positively overall to the remote access capability and were able to see how an automated system works and how the Arduino controller could be used for a real-life application. Suggestions for future improvements include more time to use the machine and additional labs and exercises to see how the machine works. Future directions include expanding the system to include loading of materials to a furnace; automating the process of unloading parts from the mold; and making different kinds of parts. These improvements would allow learners to use the injection molding machine to create parts and see how the machine is connected to the internet.

Hsieh, S. (2020, June), Remotely Accessible Injection Molding Machine for Manufacturing Education: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35142

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