Two students of the Staatliche Technikakademie Weilburg
(located between Limburg and Wetzlar) have programmed an independent project with the help of the fischertechnik factory model. They used the subsystems cycle line and vacuum gripper. The assembly line is a production line with two processing stations. A workpiece is pushed over conveyor belts and processed by a milling cutter and drill. The vacuum gripper is a gripper arm with three adjustable axes, which closes the production chain. As soon as the cycle line has completed its processing, the gripper arm grabs the workpiece and transports it back to the starting point. When processing is complete, the workpiece can also be moved to any position so that it can be continued.
The actual task for the students was to program and visualize the system using LabVIEW from National Instruments
. As communication interface the students used an Arduino
, three relay boards and a self-soldered input board. The Arduino, a microcontroller consisting of hardware and software, served as an interface between LabVIEW and the automation system. Since the simulation system required 24 volts and the Arduino only works with 5 volts, a device had to be installed that transforms the voltage up and down. For this purpose, the students designed a circuit board with 18 fixed voltage regulators and capacitors to perform this task. In addition to the USB interface of the connected computer, the system is also supplied by a 24V power supply unit. The three relay boards, connected to the Arduino, switch the actuators of the system.