I’m an area service engineer for food packaging machines rather than an automation specialist, but i can provide you with few hints.
For those automation systems to work, you must first have a very clear and detailed mechanical plan wonderful details finalized. When you achieve this, you have to specify the sort of motions involved, e.g.: linear or rotary. This lets you know the number and types of motors and actuators you may need(servo, ac single phase, ac 3 phase, pneumatic actuator).
Per motors you may 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(a lot more like conveyors, liquid tank level control pumps or rollers).Servo motors need Servo drivers to control their precise movement.
They are your output devices, you will need your input devices being set out. This could be level sensors, flow sensors, proximity switches as well as other devices if required. The main reason i’m stating out this routine is to permit you to define the specifications required for your control system hardware requirements. All PLC manufacturers layout their product line-up according to system complexity.
Most PLC hardware comes as reconfigurable rack chassis. Basically there is an CPU the actual master brain that is supplemented with I/O device that may 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 figure out you IO devices list, then obtain the necessary hardware and software needed. You may need additional hardware essential for for fancy touchscreen HMI, line automation and internet based diagnostic and asset monitoring functions. That’s that the guy with mechanical background can approach complex automation problems.
The solutions may vary determined by different manufacturer offering particularly if use beckhoff based systems. A sensible way to start is to work on existing machines so that you can educate yourself on the basics. Go get a few catalogs from reputable manufacturers to understand what the market is offering. It’s my job to suggest individuals to go through Omron catalogues. They likewise have a no cost automation online course that will show you the newborn steps needed.
You should 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 to additional training for the information each bit of equipment, concerning how to program or properly connect them, yet it’s not brain surgery, an excellent mechanical engineer should probably excel on this just like any other engineer. The main aspect of control system design is to understand the process you are likely to control and also the goals you need to achieve.