I’m a field service engineer for food packaging machines instead of an automation specialist, however i can provide few hints.
For all those automation systems to work, you must first possess a clear and detailed mechanical plan wonderful details finalized. When you accomplish that, you must specify the sort of motions involved, e.g.: linear or rotary. This enables you to understand the number and types of motors and actuators you will need(servo, ac single phase, ac 3 phase, pneumatic actuator).
For every motors you might need 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 control their precise movement.
These are generally your output devices, then you need your input devices to be put down. This is level sensors, flow sensors, proximity switches and also other devices if required. The reason why i’m stating out this routine is to permit you to define the specifications essential for your control system hardware requirements. All PLC manufacturers layout their product line-up according to system complexity.
Most PLC hardware is sold as reconfigurable rack chassis. Basically there is an CPU which is the master brain that’s supplemented with I/O device that could be slotted in like cards. Additional complex systems which needs servo motor can 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 work out you IO devices list, then obtain the necessary software and hardware needed. You may need additional hardware necessary for for fancy touch screen 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 may differ according to different manufacturer offering specifically if you use beckhoff based systems. A good way to start may be to develop existing machines so that you will study the basics. Then go obtain a few catalogs from reputable manufacturers to understand the marketplace provides. I suggest website visitors to go through Omron catalogues. There is also a no cost automation web based course that may show you the baby steps needed.
You ought to be in a position to design complete PLC systems: architecture design, hardware specfications and selection, logic narratives, logic programming, connection drawings. Everything. Perhaps all you need is some additional training for the more knowledge about each bit of kit, concerning how to program or properly connect them, but it is not too difficult, a fantastic mechanical engineer should probably excel about this because other engineer. The main aspect of control system design is usually to see the process you are going to control along with the goals you wish to achieve.