Automation Demonstration Cell Capstone Project

My senior Capstone project tasked my team and I to build and program a “tradeshow style” automation cell that demonstrates the capabilities of the FANUC M10-iA robotic manipulator. I was the software lead, which means I had to program everything in the cell that needed programming and figure out how to make them all communicate with each other over Ethernet.

This includes:

  1. CompactLogix PLC
  2. FANUC M10-iA robotic manipulator
  3. Banner Safety PLC
  4. Lexium MDrive Ethernet controlled stepper motors
  5. SMC EX-600 remote I/O node
  6. Intel NUC “HMI”

In total, I had to pick up and understand three new programming/scripting languages including ladder logic, FANUC teach pendant, and the Lexium scripting language in just a few months. Being familiar with text-based languages like C, C++, Python, etc. made it somewhat difficult to get the hang of ladder logic. However, the principles that I picked up from those common languages helped me to program the decision-making abilities into the PLC using ladder logic that I like to think wouldn’t have been very apparent had I not been so familiar with them.

Overall it was a very long and stressful project, but I’m very happy with the outcome as are our industry partners, Delta Technologies Inc. who financed a great majority of the project and provided us with professional engineering advice (as this was something none of us had ever worked on┬ábefore). Special thanks goes out to my team and especially my project manager, who made the super cool video for us.