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Existing Course and Project Descriptions



The class is a classical study of linkages, cams, and gears. Graphical synthesis and analysis is combined with Working Model software. Transparencies have been prepared using some of the diagrams from the PMMI publication Packaging/Converting Machinery Components to aid in learning terminology. Each student is refers to the book for background in Mechanisms and further classes.

The project uses a diagram from the Components book showing a stamping machine example. A video tape of packaging machinery is used for introduction. Groups of 3-4 students develop timing sequences, optimize cycle time, synthesize a four-bar link, model the four-bar on Working Model, specify gear ratios, and select an intermittent motion device. The group writes a report and gives an oral presentation on their results.

Use PMMI publication (the Machinery Components book)


Study stamping machine


View video type of packaging machinery


Develop timing sequences


Optimize cycle times


Select intermittent motion device

Logic Control

The class is a study of digital devices, PLC programming, and motor selection.

The project is the programming of a conveyor/drilling system. Groups of 3-4 students develop and test the ladder logic to control pallet handling and drilling based on pallet codes. Modicon PLC's are used with off-line programming capability.


ladder logic

Design of Machine Elements

The class is a classical study of power transmission elements of machinery. It combines Strength of Materials, Mechanisms, and component selection from Logic Control. The Components book is used for background information on belts, chains, etc.

The project is a power transmission design of the stamping machine analyzed in the Mechanisms class. The students were given the mechanical inertia and speed from the conveyor system and asked to design/select the components of the power transmission including gears, shafts, bearings, couplings, and motor.

Use the PMMI Machinery Components book


Design the power transmission for the stamping machine


Design and select

gears, shafts, bearings, couplings, and motor

Mechanical Design

The class is an advanced design class applying topics such as; dynamic loading conditions, linkage synthesis, dynamic analysis, and cam design. The project is different every year and involves a complex, usually cam and linkage related problem. In the past they have included “Packaging Machinery Cardboard Partition Feeder” and “Cam Driven Mechanism for Packaging Machinery”

Synthesize linkages


Design and analyze



Complete group

projects in design of machinery.

Motion Control

The class is a study of analog sensors, servomotors, and open and closed loop controls. The objective is to give the student the ability to control and implement multi-degree of freedom motion control. An emphasis is put on PID-control of AC and DC motors. The algorithms are studied and tuned by means of icon-based, real-time software (at present Data Lab.)

The labs are a sequence that gradually takes the students from control basics to working motion control solutions. At present, the system is run by controlling DC-motors through using the Data Lab software.

Study PID-control

of AC and DC motors


Increase working knowledge from

control basics through motion control solutions

Product Development

The class emphasizes the methodology used in developing a product. It includes “Quality Function Deployment', concurrent engineering, design for assembly, design for manufacturing, and design for quality.

The project is to develop a mechanical device (not packaging related in the past but we're always looking for projects). The student must perform needs surveys, determine suitable criteria, and perform the mechanical design. Past projects range from a household appliance (pancake maker) to an industrial pneumatic stapler.

Determine and

analyze user needs


Use: concurrent engineering

design for


design for manufacturability

design for quality


We need packaging projects

Manufacturing Automation

The class covers both the development of manufacturing plants and the linking of existing manufacturing machines to automatic manufacturing systems. In the real process portion, students study different means for batch size and lead time reduction. The integration portion focuses on communication aspects of various industrial controllers such as CNC-systems, PLC's, PC's and robot controls.

The laboratory portion focuses on control system integration realized by binary I/O communication between robots and external devices.

Learn how to develop manufacturing plants


Learn to link existing machines to automatic systems


Focus on integration

of PLC's, PC's and robots


Program integration using binary I/O communications

Senior Design

Each Senior must identify and analyze a need, write a proposal, design, build and test a prototype. Some of the projects are from the packaging machinery companies in the area, R. A. Jones and Procter & Gamble. One example is “Re-design of Transfer Star Assembly for a High Speed Beverage Packer”.

Some projects are sponsored by R.A.Jones, P&G, and other packaging machinery companies

Fundamentals of Packaging Technology (technical elective)

This is an introductory course in packaging fundaments using the Walter Soroka book “Fundamentals of Packaging Technology”. It gives students a new appreciation of what is involved in the selection of packaging materials and machinery to meet the packaging needs in today's competitive marketplace. Emphasis is placed on what is being done today and what will be required in the future.

The students learn historical perspectives, functions and materials. Functions include packaging machinery, closures, handling, and distribution. Materials include printing, paper, cardboard, cans, laminates, and material testing.

Text book by Walter Soroka


Mateirals, needs,



Closures, handling, distribution


Printing, cardboard, cans, laminates,

 material testing.

Packaging Machinery (technical elective, 2 nd in series)

Having learned the fundamentals, the student applies the information to basic processes. The system approach is introduced by studying major types of packaging machinery from the practical and operational perspective as well as specialized equipment. The final system design is completed by developing contract specification and component selection



Major machinery components


System contract specification and component selection