RMIT University students showcased their mechatronics flair at the WorldSkills Australia National Competition, Melbourne event.
A skilled team of Advanced Diploma of Engineering students were invited to participate in a live demonstration at the event.
International judges and industry experts were impressed by the student’s ingenuity - manufacturing custom parts for their demonstration model.
Jason Bouyer, Head of Learning Systems at Festo congratulated the students.
“The disciplines shown by the group across the three day event demonstrated an excellent level of competence in solving application solutions – a critical aspect of automation,” Bouyer said.
The customised parts allowed different systems to be successfully integrated, something not seen before by industry.
This cross system integration opens up new possibilities for industry, and could see a revolution in manufacturing process as a result of the demonstration.
Students were given a design brief with a series of complex requirements that needed to be included in the finished automated warehouse, including the ability to:
- sense colour;
- measure weight;
- pick and move boxes of up to 5kg to different locations;
- identify and reject boxes that don’t meet criteria; and
- shut down safely in the event of power outage.
To meet these requirements students put in hours after class to built the mechanics and developed the computer software and programming to run the machines from scratch.
The work was supported by RMIT sponsors: SEW Eurodrive, IFM Efector, Gates Australia and Tsubaki Australia, who provided of some of the materials and techniques used in the working model.
Students studying the Advanced Diploma in Engineering (Mechatronics) at RMIT have access to industry experts throughout their training with factory tours and product demonstrations.
These strong industry partnerships allow students to see the same flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) they train on in practical use.
The complexity of the cross-system integration model produced by the students demonstrates the value of these relationships.
Story: Jen Paynter