I’m an area service engineer for food packaging machines and never an automation specialist, however can provide few hints.
For many automation systems to operate, you should first possess a clear and detailed mechanical plan wonderful details finalized. When you achieve this, you must specify the type of motions involved, e.g.: linear or rotary. Each day be aware of number and types of motors and actuators you may need(servo, ac single phase, ac 3 phase, pneumatic actuator).
For every 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(similar to conveyors, liquid tank level control pumps or rollers).Servo motors need Servo drivers to manipulate their precise movement.
These are your output devices, then you need your input devices being set out. This can be level sensors, flow sensors, proximity switches along with other devices if required. The main reason i’m stating out this routine would be to let you 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 a CPU the master brain that is supplemented with I/O device that may be slotted in like cards. Additional complex systems which needs servo motor could have servo card in order 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 get the necessary software and hardware needed. You may need additional hardware necessary for for fancy touch screen HMI, line automation an internet-based diagnostic and asset monitoring functions. That’s the way a guy with mechanical background can approach complex automation problems.
The solutions could differ based on different manufacturer offering particularly if use beckhoff based systems. The best way to start may be to develop existing machines so that you discover the basics. Then go get yourself a few catalogs from reputable manufacturers to understand the marketplace is offering. I usually suggest individuals to go through Omron catalogues. They likewise have a free of charge automation online course that may educate you on the child 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 you just need to additional training on the more knowledge about every bit of kit, regarding how to program or properly connect them, yet it’s not brain surgery, a great mechanical engineer should probably excel with this because other engineer. The most crucial part of control system design would be to see the process you are going to control and also the goals you need to achieve.