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  • Basic Industrial Electrical Course

    Posted by Automatikai on October 20, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I plan to start working on a basic electricity course soon for this site. Of course information on basic electricity is available for free online, but this one will be specific to industrial automation.

    I taught a class at an automotive plant in Vermont a couple of weeks ago. One of the guys in the class was a mechanical guy taking his first PLC class, and he seemed very confused at first. This was when I realized he didn’t know what a coil or contact were! I explained how a relay worked, drawing on a whiteboard, and it helped a lot. So I can never assume what people know or don’t know when creating training materials.

    It would save time to just provide someone else’s basic electrical course rather than creating my own, but there could be all kinds of intellectual property issues later. I’d like to include other people’s materials on this site but haven’t figured out a fair way.

    Automatikai replied 1 year, 12 months ago 3 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • dgriffith

    Member
    November 22, 2020 at 2:36 am

    As a point of reference, I used Amatrol textbooks and trainers for my electricity courses (basics, motor controls | electronics was the only non-Amatrol electrical course). As much as I have a love-hate relationship for Amatrol, it served to teach well, despite being very dumbed down, redundant, and asking non-relevant or rather non-helpful questions. I’ll find and post photos of the trainers my campus used, later. I think what I’d like to see in an electricity course is knowing the specifics of what each contact for common electrical components do and how to wire them accordingly. For instance, multi-function time-delay relays can stump first-time learners since some courses don’t explain how the lettered functions work, or perhaps fail to detail what contacts A1/A2 + Y1 do. If building a panel for the first time, how do technicians know which components are compatible with each other and the system as a whole? The jump from intro textbooks to real world applications can be quite startling, depending on where you got your training. Sure, people can buy more books or dig all over the forums for this but it ought to be integrated in beginner textbooks that claim to be “workforce ready.”

  • dgriffith

    Member
    November 23, 2020 at 7:33 am

    <div>AC/DC Electrical Training System | Basic Electrical ...AC Electric Motor Control Systems Training | AmatrolAmatrol VFD/PLC Wiring Learning System 85-MT6BA | Tech-Labs
    </div>

     

  • Automatikai

    Administrator
    November 23, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    I’m with you on Amatrol, they make some nice (but expensive) trainers. Their curriculum is not great, but they kind of have a captive audience, almost a monopoly in tech schools.

    What you are describing for the contacts of specific components is an electrical “take off”, since different countries and companies draw things different ways, understanding the diagrams and schematics is the key. I do this all the time unconsciously now, I’ve just seen a lot of drawings over 40 years or so. Maybe collecting a bunch of examples and explaining how they work (after covering electrical basics) would be good. The jump from European/German to US to Japanese drawings can be disconcerting.

     

  • dgriffith

    Member
    November 26, 2020 at 8:17 pm

    <div>The jump from European/German to US to Japanese drawings can be disconcerting.
    </div>

    As someone who wants to travel doing technical work, that sounds fun. I will slowly start collecting random components and build my own panel. I currently have an AB Micro830 (relay outputs), some momentary push buttons, and some pilot lights. I’m thinking to integrate the PLC and Arduino into a working factory simulation. Heck I could throw in my Raspberry Pi.

    If you have ideas for a learning project, let me know. Perhaps you could compile a few price-tiered projects for serious learners and hobbyists.

     

  • Automatikai

    Administrator
    November 27, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    I do have an idea for you that would mimic some of the inspection videos that I am working on. The Arduino and Raspberry Pis can integrate with small CCD cameras and with analog light sensors. Consider making the microprocessor something that would trigger to inspect a part and give a pass or fail signal. You could then treat it as a machine vision system or a sorter. The advance RSLogix500 project I am recording is a conveyor that sorts parts into bins, you could easily come up with cheap components to mimic that project. A small motor with belt could drive a belt conveyor made of cheap stuff. I can put the whole exercise in the library if you’d like.

     

  • dgriffith

    Member
    December 2, 2020 at 2:12 am

    I’d be game to tackle the exercise, but it will take me a few months to finally get around to it. Currently in the process of getting a workshop built for such projects.

  • gyoung

    Member
    December 2, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Three-Phase Motor Demo – I saw a pretty neat low cost three phase motor demonstrator that may prove useful. Its here (behind a paywall – if interested I can send .pdf)

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by  Mariko.
  • Automatikai

    Administrator
    December 4, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    @phillip.scruggs , I’d certainly be interested in the pdf, I may try and build my own at some point for video purposes. How low cost? And do you have to have 3 phase power to run it, or does it generate its own? If it plugs into the wall it would be ideal.

  • Automatikai

    Administrator
    December 4, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    I will try and put together a project for an inspection simulation that interfaces with a PLC, probably using Arduino.