Northern Illinois University partners with AutomationDirect for new student lab

As automation changes, educators need to maintain pace in the classroom to produce well-qualified graduates. To support this effort, Northern Illinois University (NIU) has unveiled the AutomationDirect Automation Laboratory in its Department of Technology. AutomationDirect’s donation of $100,000 over four years also makes it possible to name a term professorship.

11/01/2008


As automation changes, educators need to maintain pace in the classroom to produce well-qualified graduates. To support this effort, Northern Illinois University (NIU) has unveiled the AutomationDirect Automation Laboratory in its Department of Technology. AutomationDirect’s donation of $100,000 over four years also makes it possible to name a term professorship.

NIU’s Department of Technology, which has more than 400 students, evolved from vocational education and is now a component of the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology (CEET). The new lab will aid student in programs such as electrical engineering technology, manufacturing engineering technology, and industrial management and technology.

AutomationDirect has a working relationship with about 15 schools and continuing education centers, but this is the first time it has a named a lab and created a professorship. The company is also actively involved with education at the primary school level with local robotics team sponsorships and as a kit-of-parts sponsor of the FIRST robotics program.

Today, CEET has almost 1,500 students and 36 labs. The AutomationDirect Laboratory is one of four labs named in 2008, said Promod Vohra, dean of the NIU College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, with other newly named industry partners including Harley-Davidson and Baxter. “We want to be engaged in economic development of the region, and create graduates that can fare well in a global environment,” he said.

The laboratory supports departmental courses on programmable logic controllers and automation. Professors teach PLC programming, as well as how to integrate components such as sensors, switches, and output devices with the PLC. As a final project before graduation, student teams are required to design automation systems that sort parts in an application that integrates a vision system, PLCs, sensors, and pneumatics.

www.ceet.niu.edu/tech

www.automationdirect.com





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
World-class manufacturing: A recipe for success: Finding the right mix for a salad dressing line; 2015 Salary Survey: Manufacturing slump dims enthusiasm
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Getting ready for industrial IoT; Visualizing the (applied) automation continuum; Preventing VFD faults and failures; Using wireless for closed-loop applications
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.