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CCOG for MT 178 archive revision 178

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Effective Term:
Fall 2020 through Fall 2021
Course Number:
MT 178
Course Title:
Mechatronics Capstone-Industrial Robots II
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Provides an opportunity to work on system-level mechatronic trainers of increasing complexity. Covers signal tracing in schematics of mechatronic systems. Focuses on using schematics to trace, probe and judge abnormal signals in mechatronic systems. Develops systematic troubleshooting skills in mechatronic systems.

Addendum to Course Description

Faults can be in PLC controllers, pneumatic driven robots, DC, AC, stepper, or servo motor driven robots, can be electrical, electro-mechanical, and mechanical in nature.

Currently, we will work on SMC trainers.

Requires students to come to the lab after school to work in groups on equipment as a part of homework.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Trace signals at different points in schematics of mechatronic systems.
  • Trace and probe signals on mechatronic systems guided by schematics. 
  • Judge whether signals behave normally.
  • Troubleshoot faults in mechatronic systems following a systematic methodology.

Course Activities and Design

The course will include instructor delivered lectures and demonstrations stressing key topics in the course. In preparation for the lecture portion of the course, students will be expected to complete all reading and homework assignments. Students may build, analyze and trouble-shoot increasingly complex mechatronics systems in class. 

Students may be required to come to the lab after school to work in groups on equipment as a part of homework.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment of student performance in this course will be in the form of written and/or practice-based questions. Some formal reports and presentations may also be required.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Mechatronics Troubleshooting

·         Levels of troubleshooting

·         Types of PLC faults

·         Status and diagnostic indicators

Mechatronics Power Supply Troubleshooting

·         Power supply circuit operation

·         Mechatronics power supply problems

·         Power supply troubleshooting methods

Mechatronics Input Troubleshooting

·         Discrete inputs

·         Testing discrete input devices

·         Testing discrete input modules

Mechatronics Output Troubleshooting

·         PLC force function

·         Forcing PLC inputs and outputs using variable tables

·         Testing PLC discrete output devices

·         Testing PLC discrete output modules

Trouble-shooting methodology

  • Forming an objective problem statement
  • Forming a clear mental picture of the entire system involved in the problem
  • Designing and then carrying out quick and definitive tests to isolate the problem to a subsystem.
  • Developing lists of all possible causes of the problem in an isolated sub-system.
  • Designing quick and definitive tests to verify whether a possible cause is the true cause or not.
  • Prioritizing to see which possible causes to check first based on the ease of the check and the probability of the cause
  • Gathering and using clues to judge which path to follow. (Given the clues, what is the likely cause? Training of this judgment)