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Student Spotlight

A Collection of Articles from our Educational Partners…

  • Copley High School’s Automation Success – Issue 38, 2017

    Copley High School’s Automation Success – Issue 38, 2017

    The Innovator team at Copley High School in Akron, Ohio needed to design a piece of equipment to snap caps together for Weaver Industries ProPak, a company that has been employing people with disabilities for about 40 years. With the existing assembly method, Weaver was struggling to meet production and contract requirements for component assembly.

  • Machine Produces Nanofibers for Biomedical Research

    Machine Produces Nanofibers for Biomedical Research

    If you can’t buy it, you have to build it. This was the situation our group of engineering students encountered when we needed to grow vascular tissue for a bioengineering project at Walla Walla University, and found existing solutions were not acceptable.

  • It’s a Wrap! Automated Taping Machine

    It’s a Wrap! Automated Taping Machine

    The capstone senior design project is the crowning achievement for seniors at the University of Connecticut School of Engineering.  In this two-semester course, senior students are mentored by faculty and industry engineers as they work to solve real-world engineering problems for their corporate sponsor. Students learn about the principles of design, how ethics affect engineering … Read More

  • Pulp Processor Speeds Production of Healthy Supplement — Issue 33, 2015

    Pulp Processor Speeds Production of Healthy Supplement — Issue 33, 2015

    Students at Penn State have been working on a Baobab pulp processor in conjunction with the residents of villages in Benin, Malawi, South Africa, and Madagascar. Native to Africa, “Baobab” is the common name for the Adansonia tree and the fruit that it bears. There has been quite a bit of hype surrounding the health … Read More

  • Shier Terror Haunts West Coast

    Shier Terror Haunts West Coast

    Scott Shier, with his namesake organization, Shier Terror, presented a pneumatics seminar in May, 2015, at the West Coast Haunters Convention in Portland, Oregon. His intent was to expose a group of fifteen “Home Haunter” students to the capabilities of pneumatic systems as they are often used in haunted houses. West Coast Haunters Convention is … Read More

  • Portable Water Treatment Platform Removes Phosphorus Economically

    Portable Water Treatment Platform Removes Phosphorus Economically

    A trailer-mounted water treatment process controlled by a Productivity2000 PLC has recently been developed at the University of Idaho. Professor Greg Möller, in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, along with engineers from the College of Engineering have teamed up to build the platform, and to further research the economical removal of phosphorus from various … Read More

  • Ohio Students Improve Assembly Process for Employees With Disabilities — Issue 32, 2015

    Ohio Students Improve Assembly Process for Employees With Disabilities — Issue 32, 2015

    The annual SourceAmerica® Design Challenge is a national engineering competition to design workplace technology for people with disabilities. For this competition, high school students spend months partnering with a nonprofit that employs people with disabilities to invent a device, process, system or software for a more productive work environment. Kirby Harder, Copley High School’s (CHS) Industrial technology … Read More

  • Technical College Students Understand Protective Relays — Issue 31, 2015

    Technical College Students Understand Protective Relays — Issue 31, 2015

    Protective relays are specialized devices designed to sense abnormal conditions in electric power systems, commanding circuit breakers to trip or close when needed. These relays are absolutely essential to the reliable operation of the electric power generating stations, substations, transmission lines, and distribution systems that comprise any large-scale electric power grid; they are increasingly finding … Read More

  • UCONN Student Design Team Automates RFID Tagging — Issue 30, 2014

    UCONN Student Design Team Automates RFID Tagging — Issue 30, 2014

    In the aerospace industry, any substance that is foreign to the aircraft engine and could potentially cause damage is known as FOD (foreign object debris). FOD costs the industry 4 billion dollars per year on average. Some of the most common causes of FOD damage are the tools required to build or maintain the engine. … Read More

  • “People’s Choice” for a Cost-Effective and Energy-Efficient Solar-Powered Home – Issue 29, 2014

    “People’s Choice” for a Cost-Effective and Energy-Efficient Solar-Powered Home – Issue 29, 2014

    UrbanEden, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s entry to the Solar Decathlon 2013, is a concept home consisting of four connected indoor and outdoor spaces that create a unique

  • What a Drag! – Issue 28, 2014

    What a Drag! – Issue 28, 2014

    CO2 powered drag strip teaches students the science of speed. John Harpell’s 9th grade class at Moira Secondary School in Belleville, Ontario, Canada has built and automated a model racecar track for CO2 powered “dragsters” using various components from AutomationDirect. A CO2 powered dragster is a small lightweight vehicle fitted with a CO2 cartridge; think “pine-wood-derby on … Read More

  • Students help Manufacturing Center See AND Do More – Issue 27, 2013

    Students help Manufacturing Center See AND Do More – Issue 27, 2013

    When the mechatronics students at Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) in Hickory, North Carolina, went looking for a suitable project to challenge their recently acquired PLC and HMI skills, they didn’t have to go far.  The college’s Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) in nearby Conover needed a way to monitor the status of a large group … Read More

  • Automation ‘Lifts’ Purdue Theater Production of Medea – Issue 26, 2013

    Automation ‘Lifts’ Purdue Theater Production of Medea – Issue 26, 2013

    From Wikipedia[1]: “A mechane (pron.: /’mɛkəniː/; Greek: μηχανή, mēkhanē) or machine was a crane used in Greek theatre, especially in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Made of wooden beams and pulley systems, the device was used to lift an actor into the air, usually representing flight. This stage machine was particularly used to bring gods … Read More

  • Illinois Institute of Technology Competes in Hybrid Racing – Issue 25, 2013

    Illinois Institute of Technology Competes in Hybrid Racing – Issue 25, 2013

    A student team, lead by Donald Ruffatto, from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) SAE International chapter contacted AutomationDirect in late 2011, asking detailed questions about our Productivity3000 Programmable Automation Controller (PAC). They were planning to use it to control an electric car that they were building for the Formula Hybrid International Competition, hosted by … Read More

  • Gas Turbine Repurposed With PLCs – Issue 24, 2012

    Gas Turbine Repurposed With PLCs – Issue 24, 2012

    The Midwest Propulsion Group is a jet engine club dedicated to increasing the engineering knowledge and experience base of students by providing real-world engineering tasks related to gas turbine restoration and performance analysis, as well as finding vehicular applications for such engines.