Purdue Pete hammer machine goes international
Written by TechPurdue // February 21, 2012 // Admitted Students, Alumni & Friends, Business & Industry, Current Students, Faculty & Staff, Latest College News, Mechanical Engineering Technology // 1 Comment
The student creators of an automated machine that produces customized miniature Purdue hammers are finalists in Phoenix Contact’s international xplore New Automation Award 2012.
Two representatives from the seven-person team and their faculty advisor will travel to Bad Pyrmont, Germany, with their machine March 23 for the final competition presentation. The Purdue team is one of 28 finalists; more than 100 teams started in the competition.
The Automated Hammer Assembly Machine features Phoenix Contact controls and a wireless controller. Users are able to choose the colors of the Purdue hammer handle and hammer head from an order screen. Once the order is submitted, a robotic handling device automatically selects the correct pieces, assembles them, and delivers them to the user.
“Automation is a very important part of staying competitive in manufacturing today,” said team member Jason Wintz. “As a manufacturing engineer, I will be required to constantly explore new and innovative manufacturing technologies, in order to implement and improve automation throughout a manufacturing facility. The utilization of wireless technology from Phoenix Contact has allowed me to begin that exploration now.”
In addition to the Phoenix parts, the team received a pneumatic cylinder and automated valve pack from SMC Corporation.
The team designed the machine with a CAD-modeling program, which allowed them to discover any interference between components before they started assembling the machine. The entire process – design, manufacturing, programming and testing – was completed by students.
“Working through this project has helped prepare me for problems when designing equipment as well as programming techniques,” said team member Ryan Streu. “I also have learned how to work in a small group and still manage everyone to get tasks done efficiently and quickly.”
(Click on a photo below to view captions)
Every year, students in the manufacturing engineering technology program create and showcase an automated machine at industrial trade shows and student recruiting events. While the projects help showcase the nature of the program, they also give the students an opportunity to apply their skills to creative and useable products.
“The students have shown they have the ability to integrate a variety of academic areas to go from concept to a realistic apparatus that makes and produces products,” said Bradley Harriger, professor of mechanical engineering technology. “The machine integrates manufacturing, mechanical, and electrical engineering technologies with information technology and computer graphics.”
Other team members are: David Burroughs, Mike Harrington, Aaron Burns, Derek Andrews and George Hinote.
The Purdue team is competing in the factory category, one of six categories, of the competition. The top team in each category will be invited to showcase their creation at the Hanover Fair Industrial Automation Show, April 23 – 27, in Germany.