I’m an industry service engineer for food packaging machines and not an automation specialist, however can provide few hints.
For those automation systems to operate, you must first use a clear and detailed mechanical plan wonderful details finalized. Once you do so, you have to specify the sort of motions involved, e.g.: linear or rotary. This allows you to have in mind the number and kinds of motors and actuators you may need(servo, ac single phase, ac 3 phase, pneumatic actuator).
Per motors you may want relay contactors (for single speed discrete/on-off type motors like blower fans and liquid pumps), VFD for speed controllable ac 3-phase motors(similar to conveyors, liquid tank level control pumps or rollers).Servo motors need Servo drivers to manage their precise movement.
They’re your output devices, you’ll need your input devices to be lay out. This could be level sensors, flow sensors, proximity switches and other devices as needed. The key reason why i’m stating out this routine is always to let you define the specifications essential for your control system hardware requirements. All PLC manufacturers layout their product line-up determined by system complexity.
Most PLC hardware comes as reconfigurable rack chassis. Basically there is an CPU which is master brain that’s supplemented with I/O device that may be slotted in like cards. Additional complex systems which needs servo motor will have servo card to connect with servo driver, communication bus cards like CAN-BUS, PROFIBUS and DEVICENET and sensor cards for special sensors like RTD temperature sensors and level sensors.
So workout you IO devices list, then receive the necessary software and hardware needed. You may need additional hardware necessary for for fancy touchscreen display HMI, line automation and internet based diagnostic and asset monitoring functions. That’s what sort of guy with mechanical background can approach complex automation problems.
The solutions varies determined by different manufacturer offering specifically if you use beckhoff based systems. A great way to start will be to work with existing machines so that you will educate yourself on the basics. Go obtain a few catalogs from reputable manufacturers to understand the marketplace is offering. I always suggest individuals to go through Omron catalogues. There is also a free of charge automation web based course which will educate you on the infant steps needed.
You have to be in a position to design complete PLC systems: architecture design, hardware specfications and selection, logic narratives, logic programming, connection drawings. Everything. Perhaps you just need some additional training around the more knowledge about each bit of it technology, concerning how to program or properly connect them, but it is not nuclear physics, an excellent mechanical engineer should probably excel for this because other engineer. The key facet of control system design is usually to see the process you are going to control and also the goals you wish to achieve.