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Integration of real-world project tasks in a course on automation and robot engineering
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Electricity.
(English)In: European Journal of Engineering Education, ISSN 0304-3797, E-ISSN 1469-5898Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

The modern engineering profession requires classical technical skills combined with creativity and a high proficiency in cooperation and sustainable development. Research indicates that the engineering education should adapt better to this. This paper presents and evaluates the integration of open-ended real-world project group tasks in an introduction course on automation and robot engineering. We used extensive written student course evaluations, the students’ examination results and the teachers’ experience for evaluation. Six occasions of the updated course are evaluated against the previous classical course. Both the students and the teachers greatly appreciated the new course. There was a strong indication that the students’ theoretical knowledge and understanding of the subject had improved, both with regards to the technical depth and to the increasingly important non-technical engineering skills. This was achieved without increasing their work load. It is likely that the presented teaching approach can be used also in other engineering courses.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-334555OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-334555DiVA, id: diva2:1159857
Available from: 2017-11-23 Created: 2017-11-23 Last updated: 2017-12-07
In thesis
1. Robotized Production Methods for Special Electric Machines
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Robotized Production Methods for Special Electric Machines
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A research project on renewable energy conversion from ocean waves to electricity was started at the Division of Electricity at Uppsala University (UU) in 2001. The Wave Energy Converter (WEC) unit developed in this project is intended to be used in large offshore WEC farms and has therefore been designed with large-scale production in mind. The concept has now also been commercialized by the spin-off company Seabased Industry AB.

An essential part of the UU WEC is the linear direct-drive generator. This thesis presents the pilot work on developing robotized production methods for this special electric machine. The generator design is here investigated and four different backbreaking, monotone, potentially hazardous and time consuming manual production tasks are selected for automation. A robot cell with special automation equipment is then developed and constructed for each task. Simplicity, reliability and flexibility are prioritized and older model pre-owned industrial robots are used throughout the work. The robot cells are evaluated both analytically and experimentally, with focus on full scale experiments. It is likely that the developed production methods can be applied also for other similar electric machines.

The main focus in the thesis is on robotized stator cable winding. The here presented robot cell is, to the knowledge of the author, the first fully automated stator cable winding setup. Fully automated winding with high and consistent quality and high flexibility is demonstrated. Significant potential cost savings compared to manual winding are also indicated. The robot cell is well prepared for production, but further work is required to improve its reliability.

The other three developed robot cells are used for stator stacking, surface mounting of permanent magnets on translators and machining of rubber discs. All robot cell concepts are experimentally validated and considerable potential cost savings compared to manual production are indicated. Further work is however required with regards to autonomy and reliability.

Finally, the thesis presents a pedagogical development work connected to the research on robotized production methods. A first cycle course on automation and robot engineering is here completely reworked, as it is structured around three real-world group project tasks. The new course is evaluated from the examination results, the students’ course evaluations and the feedback from the teachers during six years. The students greatly appreciated the new course. It is indicated that the developed teaching approach is effective in teaching both classical and modern engineering skills.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2018. p. 82
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1608
Keyword
Industrial robotics, Assembly automation, Large-scale production, Cable winding, Linear generator, Wave energy converter, Wave power, Engineering education
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Science of Electricity
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-335504 (URN)978-91-513-0177-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-02-02, Polhemsalen, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-01-12 Created: 2017-12-07 Last updated: 2018-03-07

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