Modern Manufacturing Engineering

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Just sharing. Below are two videos about making electric motors that impressed me. One from China, one from Germany. MIT is also studying the use of AI to help design the manufacturing process.

If I was a young EE just starting, I think I would choose manufacturing engineering. Today seems like a golden age for that.


 

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  • #2
berkeman
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I don't have any pictures, unfortunately, but one of the more amazing things I've seen is something that our ME and EE groups did in the design of an electricity meter a couple years ago. With AC mains traces and circuitry in a meter, you need to obey creepage and clearance rules in order to pass safety certification. But spacing things out enough to meet those spacing rules increases the size of the PCB significantly. So it's common practice to use milled cuts in the PCB to increase the creepage and clearance distances between traces.

And carrying that one step farther, our ME and EE groups used 3-D design software and 3-D prototype printing to figure out how to add plastic flange features to the plastic enclosure, so that the flanges fit into the milled cuts in the PCB, further increasing the creepage distances and adding an insulation layer for clearance. It usually took several iterations (of both the enclosure and the PCB) to get to the final version, but the size reduction (and cost reduction) were significant.

Very cool thing! :smile:

EDIT -- Kind of like this, but with the insulation and milled cuts combined:

https://i.stack.imgur.com/L0tol.png

L0tol.png
 

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  • #3
jrmichler
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I had a summer job just out of high school in a motor rebuilding shop. It was an excellent learning experience about how much goes into an apparently simple electric motor.

I had another job in the late 90's in a machine building company that built some of their own motors. I worked next to the EE that designed a servomotor that delivered 225 ft-lbs RMS torque and 600 ft-lbs peak torque in a housing 9.9" OD and 16" long (not including the shaft). One of my projects was developing an accelerated life test for this motor. I blew up 25 or so motors at $20,000 each. The first generation motor lasted a year in the field and less than a day on the test stand, the second generation motor lasted a month on the test stand, and the third generation motor destroyed the test stand. He also designed a three phase motor about 3.5" diameter by about 5" long that delivered almost 10 hp. The duty cycle was less than 1%.

They even had a stator stuffing machine similar to that shown in the second video at 00:17 and 2:07. That was impressive to watch - whoosh and the stator was wound.

Good times.
 
  • #4
berkeman
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The first generation motor lasted a year in the field and less than a day on the test stand, the second generation motor lasted a month on the test stand, and the third generation motor destroyed the test stand.
The goal of every engineer! :smile:
 
  • #5
CWatters
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If I was a young EE just starting, I think I would choose manufacturing engineering. Today seems like a golden age for that.
We recently visited Loughborough University in the UK. They have a Design School which offers 3 and 4 year BA and BSc degrees in Industrial and Product Design. Covers all aspects of Product Design and Manufacturing both mechanical and Electronic. Quite an impressive set up they have. Good CAD facilities, 3D printing and CNC etc.

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/design-school/

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/design-school/about/facilities/
 
  • #6
CWatters
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Just sharing. Below are two videos about making electric motors that impressed me.
There was a program on Discovery Channel awhile back about how Tesla build the model S. Included the robotic line that assembles their motors.
 
  • #7
OCR
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Modern Manufacturing Engineering:
Just sharing
Thanks for the video links, anorlunda.... :thumbup:


I'll put up a couple more... I've always liked watching this one .

Take your choice, they're about unlimited... here .

.
 
  • #8
berkeman
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