I’m a field service engineer for food packaging machines instead of an automation specialist, on the other hand can provide you with few hints.
For all those automation systems to operate, you have to first have a clear and detailed mechanical plan wonderful details finalized. Once you achieve this, you must specify the kind of motions involved, e.g.: linear or rotary. Each day understand the number and kinds of motors and actuators you need(servo, ac single phase, ac 3 phase, pneumatic actuator).
For each motors you might 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(more like conveyors, liquid tank level control pumps or rollers).Servo motors need Servo drivers to manage their precise movement.
They are your output devices, you’ll need your input devices to become determined. This is often level sensors, flow sensors, proximity switches along with other devices as required. The reason i’m stating out this routine would be to permit you to define the specifications essential for your control system hardware requirements. All PLC manufacturers layout their product line-up determined by system complexity.
Most PLC hardware is sold as reconfigurable rack chassis. Basically there is an CPU the master brain that is supplemented with I/O device that could be slotted in like cards. Additional complex systems which needs servo motor may 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 receive the necessary software and hardware needed. You may need additional hardware necessary 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 varies determined by different manufacturer offering particularly if you use beckhoff based systems. A great way to start can be to work on existing machines so that you will study the basics. Then go get yourself a few catalogs from reputable manufacturers to understand industry can give. I usually suggest visitors to go through Omron catalogues. They likewise have a no cost automation online course that will show you the child steps needed.
You should be able to design complete PLC systems: architecture design, hardware specfications and selection, logic narratives, logic programming, connection drawings. Everything. Perhaps you just need to some additional training on the details of every bit of it technology, on how to program or properly connect them, but it is not too difficult, a good mechanical engineer should probably excel for this because other engineer. The most crucial facet of control system design is always to comprehend the process you are likely to control and the goals you need to achieve.