I’m an area service engineer for food packaging machines instead of an automation specialist, but i can present you with few hints.
For all those automation systems to operate, you should first have a very clear and detailed mechanical plan effortlessly details finalized. If you do this, you have to specify the kind of motions involved, e.g.: linear or rotary. Each day have in mind the number and kinds of motors and actuators you will need(servo, ac single phase, ac 3 phase, pneumatic actuator).
For each and 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(a lot more like conveyors, liquid tank level control pumps or rollers).Servo motors need Servo drivers to control their precise movement.
These are your output devices, you will need your input devices to get put down. This is often level sensors, flow sensors, proximity switches along with other devices if required. The main reason i’m stating out this routine is usually to permit you to define the specifications needed for your control system hardware requirements. All PLC manufacturers layout their product line-up based on system complexity.
Most PLC hardware comes as reconfigurable rack chassis. Basically you will find the CPU which is master brain that is supplemented with I/O device that could be slotted in like cards. Additional complex systems which needs servo motor could 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 exercise you IO devices list, then obtain the necessary software and hardware needed. You might need additional hardware required for for fancy touch screen HMI, line automation and online diagnostic and asset monitoring functions. That’s how a guy with mechanical background can approach complex automation problems.
The solutions could differ based on different manufacturer offering specifically if you use beckhoff based systems. The best way to start will be to work with existing machines so that you can learn the basics. Then go obtain a few catalogs from reputable manufacturers to understand industry has to offer. I suggest people to go through Omron catalogues. They likewise have a no cost automation online course that can educate you on the infant 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 additional training on the information each bit of kit, concerning how to program or properly connect them, however it is not rocket science, an excellent mechanical engineer should probably excel for this because other engineer. The key facet of control system design is usually to comprehend the process you’re going to control and also the goals you need to achieve.