I’m an industry service engineer for food packaging machines and never an automation specialist, however i can give you few hints.
For all those automation systems to function, you must first possess a clear and detailed mechanical plan with all of details finalized. Whenever you achieve this, you have to specify the type of motions involved, e.g.: linear or rotary. This lets you understand the number and kinds of motors and actuators you may need(servo, ac single phase, ac 3 phase, pneumatic actuator).
For each and every motors you will 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 regulate their precise movement.
They are your output devices, you will want your input devices to get determined. This could be level sensors, flow sensors, proximity switches as well as other devices as required. The key reason why i’m stating out this routine is usually to allow you to define the specifications required for your control system hardware requirements. All PLC manufacturers layout their product line-up depending on system complexity.
Most PLC hardware is sold as reconfigurable rack chassis. Basically there is an CPU the actual master brain that is supplemented with I/O device that could be slotted in like cards. Additional complex systems which needs servo motor can 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 hardware and software needed. You may want additional hardware needed for for fancy touchscreen display 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 depending on different manufacturer offering specifically if you use beckhoff based systems. The best way to start can be to focus on existing machines so you educate yourself on the basics. Go get a few catalogs from reputable manufacturers to understand what the market industry is offering. I suggest individuals to go through Omron catalogues. They likewise have a no cost automation web based course that will teach you the newborn steps needed.
You ought to be capable of 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 more knowledge about every bit of equipment, regarding how to program or properly connect them, however it is not rocket science, an excellent mechanical engineer should probably excel on this because other engineer. The most important part of control system design is always to comprehend the process you are likely to control along with the goals you would like to achieve.