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Discuss HNC Mechatronics engineering project/engineering design module in the Electrical Engineering Chat area at ElectriciansForums.net

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montybaber

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Hi there

Started year 2 on Wednesday and a big part of this year is the engineering design/project module where I have to come up with an engineering problem (ideally where I work) and overcome it.

I need to do a 30min presentation in front of all the classes employers at the end of the year showing what I have made and achieved etc (prob powerpoint) thing is the lecturer is quite hard and only hands out passes if its a 'groundbreaking' dragons den type thing:)

Just wondered what any of you did for yours? I assume those with HNC's in other subjects (electrical engineering/manufacturing engineering etc) would have to do similar?

I'm looking for inspiration :) he said he NEVER gives out distinctions (I want to prove him wrong!)
 
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S

Shakey

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  • #2
Hi Monty,

is he proposing these are the same subject?

Mine were entirely seperate, in fact, we were not allowed to cross over from our design project to our actual project

For my design, I was using mobile workshops/office cabins. I designed a 6.5Kva generator, running 110 & 230V with remote start facility, on a pull out tray in the vehicle body.

It was actually easier than it sounds, I selected a suitable desiel power pack, a suitable alternator, then just nocked up a frame on CAD, added a control panel, fuel shut offs etc, designed a frame and away i went. Of course, nothing was actually built, it was purely about design, parts lists etc.

For my project:

I was heavily involved with aircraft crashes and recovery. We used to use pneumatic elevators (big airbags) to raise an aircraft up if it landed on its belly. the elevators had 13 cells each, and typically 10+ elevators were used for each job.

It was manpower intensive, because each individual cell of each elevator was individually controlled, and each was pressure critcial on the next. I designed a remote control unit that could retrofit to the pneumatic control consoles, allowing one guy to controle hundreds of elevators cells from one position.

Of course it contained everything the course is about:- sensors, actuators, instrumentation, control circuitry, warning alarms etc etc:

And It was complete shash of course! Each unit would have cost in excess of 5k to build, and we would never have used them, but it wasnt the point.

It allowed me to create the need (que lots of powerpoint slides of large aircraft crashing into the runway), allowed me to create a solution that no-one in the audience knew anything about (que lots of on-screen calculations of pressure differentials, centre of gravity considerations and turning moments/shear forces - they love all that)

And finally left me with something i could not possibly demonstrate (without a 100 ton aircraft crashing on demand outside the college)

The point is this: it was all about effect: i designed a project that was impractical, was too expensive and probably wouldnt have worked - BUT, i submitted a great big project folder, pages of calclations, photos, parts lists etc etc etc - and got a big fat distinction.

Ok I know i was in a specialist field at the time, but the point i am trying to make is: (as you have probably realised) the ILLUSION of the end result is far more important than the actual viability of the end result

You got any ideas yet, gotta be honest, i had three favourites for my project, and i mulled each one for a couple of weeeks, then, seeing the calendar clicking away towards Xmas, panicked, made a decision and stuck with it.

One of the guys fluffed his - tried changing half way through the year, submiited a few hand written scraps of paper and was sent on his way.

If theres one peice of advice i could give you, its this:

once you have made your decision, stop worrying if you have made the right decision, and concentrate on making the decision right;)

as a thought, have you considered doing something like a jazzed up 2391 test board, but expand it into a fault simulator as well, you know, flick switches and introduce short circuits, insualtion faults, neutrals on the wrong side of RCD, O/C main bonding etc etc

I did think about doing a universal invertor/VSD test set as well. You know, simulate a motor, plug it in, monitor speeds, currents etc etc

I'll give you had a hand with the power point if you need it!

regards

Shakey
 
M

montybaber

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  • #3
Hello mate

We have been told that both subjects are the same:confused:

Anyway...the inverter idea is one that I have on one of my mind-maps (1 of 3) would be incredibly simple to do (too simple???)

One idea (purely at idea stage:)) is a solution to a problem at work with sealing products (flow-wrappers) at the moment a small percentage of product is taken from the line and physically tested by the (very complicated lol) squeeze technique.
Was thinking about making an inline unit to select a pack (say 1 in 50) and pass to perhaps a vacuum etc (like I say very early days)

The last one is a machine we use at work that is roughly 30yrs old and made by Rheon (a japanese manufacturer) we have two machines in storage due to lack of spare parts (which we are getting engineered locally now) but they are very unreliable, the control is all PCB/logic based with boards upon boards inside that are constantly failing through age etc the motors (200v 3 phase) are inverter/servo controlled and are old VERY large units and fail quite often and we have no software etc to set them up/alter settings etc.
I was thinking about bringing this machine up to date using siemens or Allen bradley PLC and SEW or lenze drives and ditching all PCB's, fitting a HMI etc.
Whilst doing this also looking at modifying the mechanical side to achieve better quality product in some ways too.

My angle is that Rheon (to this day) do not make such a compact machine that achieves the output the 103 does and a inferior replacement runs at over £100k so refurbishment has cost incentives.

Not sure about any of these ideas really :eek: really want to go to town but we (the mex lot) are in with the manufacturing lot for this and they have done CAD last year and advanced CAD (3d etc) this year and I think he wants lots of drawings etc (cad is a mystery to me im afraid:eek:) so maybe hes looking for more mechanical design.

He mentioned Ecad:confused: Shakey do you have any experience in this?

I want to crack on to be honest only have til June and I want to blow their socks off!! got Hinckley points management coming down to view the presentations so its gotta be good.

BTW your projects sound amazing..hope mine are in the same league

Thanks again for your help, regarding powerpoint I used it for the first time last year for a further mechatronics presentation on actuators and transducers but it was a bit ropey (got a D though) would appreciste some help when I get to that point thankyou:)
 
B

Bane

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  • #4
Well I was going to pitch in my idea but Shakey stole it.

(AND I can't start my own thread asking you how college went because you:
A) Hijacked mine (started by you)
B) Have started this one)

Anyway, I have nothing intelligible to add to this thread so I shall sit by the sidelines and tell Shakey what to tell you.

Good luck Monty!
 
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Bane

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  • #6
Great thanks. Half day on a Friday so should be looking at my college homework really but I'll do that on Sunday probably.

All's going well, really happy with work and college so yeah, thanks for asking. Bit of a shock being back in the classroom was it? First day bollox*d my head in and that was just introductions and inductions!
 
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montybaber

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7
good to hear everythings going well..college work is made for boring Sunday afternoons:)

I was hoping for a boring this is what you will be doing sort of day but turned out to be a nightmare!! went into maths and lecturer took our books in and told us to buy proper engineering maths books cus ours were primary school level from last year!! UT OH!:):eek::confused:

anyway beats being at work at the moment..feckers stole my/our 1651 because they suspect I need to borrow it again and locked it in the office so I could'nt test a supply I put in for a chiller control panel I built (amusingle in the shape of spongebob) their loss...I locked it off and took the key home with me as I had'nt tested it lol
 
S

Shakey

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  • #8
Monty, mine were definetely seperate subjects

the deign was basically Autocad up to Xmas, then writing design specs, then the actual design itself.

the project was eniterly and completely seperate

strange!

I think your idea of using PLC's and an HMI could be a good one

(although i would go with Seiemens rather an Allen Bradley - just programming prefernce thats all!)

it will give you a chance to write a programme, (which is always good padding) and a set up/instruction manual type thing for the HMI

and of course, LOTS of transducers in there! I suppose you squeeze a PID controller in there as well for good measure!

do you intend actually building it, or is it like mine, all theoretical?
 
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montybaber

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  • #9
Hi there

Think I have decided on a project and i'm going for the seal integrity tester with an inverter controlled conveyor with a reject/selector facility (like I said on counter 1 in 500 etc).

belt ramps down, pack is pushed from line using pneumatic cylinder and into a design I have come up with to test seal integrity using PLC control pressure switches and quite a lot of calculations :)

been looking around and the market is very specailised! can only find one company offering machinery (apart from the old dip tanks) you never know if it works then could make me a fortune :D

I like the fact that the project will include mechanical design, pneumatics, quite a complicated PLC program:eek: a HMI, lots of transducers and actuators and a little bit of playing with drives:) should keep me busy! My work want to use the finished project on our marks and spencer line so it had better work lol

Will be totally unmanned/automated and will even self test

thats the theory anyway....we will see;) havent put many details Shakey if you are interested I could go through the idea in more depth via PM (dont want the idea stolen lol)
 
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Bane

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  • #10
thats the theory anyway....we will see;) havent put many details Shakey if you are interested I could go through the idea in more depth via PM (dont want the idea stolen lol)
Except by Shakey...:eek:

Did I tell you film was good Craig?

(Off to watch Amazon on BBC2 now mate!)
 
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montybaber

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  • #11
no mate you did'nt...been working flat out last two days glad it was good :)

Sure the Shakemeister thinks of ideas better than mine all day long lol
 
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Shakey

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  • #12
no mate you did'nt...been working flat out last two days glad it was good :)

Sure the Shakemeister thinks of ideas better than mine all day long lol
I think its a great idea Monty, unfortunately I have just patented it, so yes you can use it, but you will have to pay me intelectual property rights:p

what you gonna use as pressure guages, normal air pressure/reflection types, or you gonna go the the other way and use strain guages?

I find the air pressure ones a pain in the wotnots, constant adjustment and all that.

presumably you gonna have a 'pass/reject' system? and of course, you will have lights simulating all the acutators etc, and a 'lights test facility', thats why i prefer siemens, using 'IL' amd 'ILC' just makes things a little easier.

and of course, you have to programm from scratch, i always love the first run, things flying off belts etc

rememeber my first one, it was a pneumatic ram which pressed a cover onto a machined block, programmed it all, fired it up, but i had forgotten to include the bottom ram proximity sensor, thing kept on driving down, bolts ripping out of the frame etc etc - oh happy days!
 
M

montybaber

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
It wont have a pass/reject system as such as it just takes 1 pack in say 100 if the chosen pack fails then it will sound a siren and beacon and stop the conveyor (using the inverter).

Havent looked too much into the transducers, I know the theory but I have limited experience with using them (more used to temperature measurement TBH) actually sat in the class now waiting to show the lecturer so wish me luck :)

BTW they decided to give us a choice whether to do elec power generation or robotics so I chose the robots, had a great time playing with one today!!!
 
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S

Shakey

  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #14
It wont have a pass/reject system as such as it just takes 1 pack in say 100 if the chosen pack fails then it will sound a siren and beacon and stop the conveyor (using the inverter).

Havent looked too much into the transducers, I know the theory but I have limited experience with using them (more used to temperature measurement TBH) actually sat in the class now waiting to show the lecturer so wish me luck :)

BTW they decided to give us a choice whether to do elec power generation or robotics so I chose the robots, had a great time playing with one today!!!
Monty, i had no choice so done robotics anyway, absolutely loved it

Is yours static or moveable?

i basically prograamed one to pick up an item, movealong an air ram, pick up an ianother item, move back etc etc etc

Loads of fun - 'specially when you start playing with speed controls, you know, move to waypoint a at fast, to point b a bit slower, etc etc, then close the jaw jaws gently on item, then go top speed and fling item across room and hope collision detection will stop the arm knocking the tutor over

oh happy days! I was a naughty little Shakey:p
 
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montybaber

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  • #15
its static but had loads of fun moving a pen around (small things eh:))

Project got approved so im off!!!
 

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