The work covers the various aspects of automation and application of robots in industry in particular in the area of automatic assembly.
Dedicated and Flexible automation systems; criteria for selection of automation systems;
Robotics : Mechanical elements ; co-ordinate systems; drive mechanisms.
Robot programming and control; software function; interfaces to controller; position /motion/ hybrid control.
Programming robots: On -line using proprietary robot programming languages e.g. VAL3 directly and using the teach pendant emulator; Off - line programming languages e.g. GRASP.
Applications: choice of robot; robot tooling; ancillary equipment; performance specifications.
Use of sensors in automation; sensor types contact, proximity, force, vision systems.
Dedicated automation systems: materials handling; analysis and control functions.
Assembly: Part feed systems; orienting devices e.g. vibratory bowl feeder; tooling; Materials handling devices e.g. indexing devices; conveyors.
Placement devices: Pick and place;
Workheads: Fixing methods
General: Line balance of assembly systems; Reliability in automation; Cost justification of automation; Job analysis; Implementation of automated systems
Programmable Logic Controller hardware. Programming Languages: IEC61131-3, LD, IL, ST, FBD & SFC.
PLC Software Design Methods
Combinational, Sequential and Continuous Control . Analogue Value processing. Cyclic & Interrupt processing.
Design in Fault Diagnostic Techniques.
Sensors and measurement systems selection. Discrete: Proximity, limit switches.
Analogue.Transducers, amplifiers, signal conditioning.
Closed Loop Control, ON/OFF, P, PI & PID. Controller Tuning methods: Reaction Curve, Ultimate Cycle. PID digital control algorithms. Simple Software filter.
Safe design. BS EN 60204-1, BS en 954-1, PUWER 98. Control Panel design.
Industrial Communication Systems. Fieldbus systems, OPC Servers,
Human Machine Interfaces (HMI). Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) Systems. Distributed Databases, I/O Drivers, Tags, Alarm Handling, Trending, Historic Data, HMI Design.
The module content will be based on three main areas of instrumentation systems. The first section will consider the use and application of modern smart sensing devices to cover a range of measurements. These will then be used in distributed systems to put together complete instrumentation systems. The final stage will be the integration of instrumentation systems into the control of industrial plant.
The student will learn about important elements of project management, such as planning, control, cost, problem solving skills, report writing and defend the outcome during a viva session. The project is normally completed during 13 weeks of full time research or part time equivalent, 26 weeks.
The mechatronic approach will be stimulated and rewarded by applying it to the design of a practical product or process that would offer some enhanced performance compared with other alternatives.
Mechatronic design process:
Definitions of Mechatronics, advantages of microprocessor system control, Mechatronic design process: product and process design applications, advantages of Mechatronic design approach. Evaluate current technology developments that have improved mechatronic design of products or processes.
Design a product or process using a Mechatronic design methodology: Conceptual design: user requirement specification, embodiment design, standards, safety regulations: selection of measurement system, controller hardware and software, actuator system, signal conditioning, human-machine interface; design of application program; integration of components.
Evaluate a Mechatronic design application: Reliability, accuracy, speed of response, productivity, robustness, ease of maintenance, minimisation of capital and running costs, ease of manufacture, product quality. Evaluation of design procedure.
- Managing a research project: selecting, planning and execution
- Team work.
- Information searching, information sources.
- Data: organising, processing and presenting.
- Reports: evaluation and review, structuring and writing.
- An overview of project management.
- Quality management.
- Time management and cost control.
- Performance monitoring and difference resolution.
- Project implementation, completion and evaluation.
This module will review the field of sustainability. Firstly, we will conceptualise sustainability, its history and the challenges to sustainable development. Methods of estimating life cycle carbon emission and ecological impacts will be critical analysed. The process of risk assessments in the context of the renewable energy industry, will also be discussed.
Next the module will consider the topic of energy consumption and usage, most notably in the heating of buildings and transportation (both of which represents the bulk of final energy consumption). This shall include estimating the energy consumption of buildings depending on climate conditions and the options for improving building performance and estimating of heat load, boiler requirements, etc. Transportation shall also consider the environmental impact of transportation as well as the design of urban areas, public transport, its benefits and limitations.
Finally, we will review the application of renewable energy resources for the design of appropriate renewable energy systems; including autonomous off-grid systems, as well as the methodology and rationale for grid connection. Systems control and energy storage on both a micro and macro scale will be considered next. This shall include Economic and environmental impact of energy systems. Hydro electric systems design, including water turbine selection and Flow Duration Curve analysis for optimisation of energy yield will be presented. Wind energy design shall also be considered, including the site selection and estimation of performance.