As part of an interdisciplinary learning unit, the trainees at LQ Mechatronik-Systeme have built a model of an automatic gate-opening system – with full functionality.
The entrances to company premises are often protected by gates. If a vehicle approaches the gate, it opens – generally automatically. Either drivers open the gates themselves using a radio-controlled fob or a security guard presses a button to open the door. A warning light flashes, as the gate is moved sideways. Photoelectric barriers also control pedestrian access. Once the door is open, the motors stop automatically and switches interrupt the electric circuit.
When implemented, this everyday scenario proves to be far more complex than it appears at first sight. In spite of this, the year 2 mechatronic trainees and year 1 industrial administrators have successfully implemented this gate control project in the training workshop.
Here the way work was assigned was clear. The commercial trainees looked after the concept design, price calculations, purchasing and design implementation whilst the mechatronics trainees were responsible for the technical side. They programmed the PLC for gate control. In this way, all those involved were able to transform grey theory into a practical application – a fantastic example of how knowledge gained in an interdisciplinary context can be deployed and end in a genuine product.