Phoenix Contact helps Purdue University students get automation experience |

Phoenix Contact helps Purdue University students get automation experience

Phoenix Contact helps Purdue University students get automation experience

May 17, 2018Engineering technology students at Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute are getting hands-on automation experience, thanks to the university’s partnership with Phoenix Contact USA. Over the past several years, Phoenix Contact has donated more than $200,000 in hardware to support a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects at Purdue.

The latest joint effort resulted in an advanced automation and industrial networking lab for undergraduate courses. The multi-workstation area includes Phoenix Contact’s IEC 61131 programming software, PC Worx, along with visualization software, 802.11 wireless, PROFINET networking, and distributed safety I/O. During class or when they are working on capstone projects, students can put concepts like visualization, networking, and control into practice. Students can integrate additional products via the distributed power, open I/O ports, arnd available mounting DIN rail. Student projects have included an automated hammer-assembly machine and an automated oven.

With Phoenix Contact’s help, Purdue has upgraded several automation labs with networking and automation equipment. The introduction to industrial automation labs’ workstations feature Phoenix Contact’s Push-in connection technology. In their manufacturing lab, students also retrofitted an older plastic extrusion machine with Phoenix Contact controls, I/O, and visualization solutions. A current project is using Phoenix Contact field cabling to update a material handling conveyor system. Donated components also include power supplies, relays, terminal blocks, stack lights, marking devices, tools, and more.

The Phoenix Contact/Purdue partnership also extends to middle school students, through the TECHFIT program. Several years ago, professors at Purdue and the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., created a middle school training program that combines technology and fitness through a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Over the past few years, Phoenix Contact has donated more than $65,000 in equipment, which students use to design and implement technology-based fitness games.

Purdue is a member of EduNet, Phoenix Contact’s international education network, which brings together schools and industrial partners in the automation technology field. The Polytechnic Institute is also a regional host for Phoenix Contact’s annual Nanoline Contest for middle and high school students.

 “The addition of the Phoenix Contact workstations significantly enhances our industrial networking and data communications with the ability to now address PROFINET for use with data collection and equipment control,” said Bradley C. Harriger, Lead Professor for the School of Engineering Technology’s Manufacturing Engineering Technology program in the Purdue University Polytechnic Institute. “The continued support from Phoenix Contact with equipment, as well as professional guidance, assures that our students will be prepared for the demands of today’s industrial environments.”


About Phoenix Contact

Phoenix Contact develops and manufactures industrial electrical and electronic technology products that power, protect, connect, and automate systems and equipment for a wide range of industries. Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, Blomberg, Germany, operates 50 international subsidiaries, including Phoenix Contact USA in Middletown, Pa.

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