Team Horizon Finished 1st Runner-up In The SEAR PLC Design Competition 2022
Scribbles the general system requirements for Automation Studio in OneNote and manages to clarify the required function block as well as the system components with one another based on the team's understanding
Every engineering student is encouraged to learn new technologies and exhibit skills required of future engineers who operate in a disruptive technological environment. Future graduates also have to exhibit creativity and innovation in solving problems.
That is exactly what our Engineering students Wong Chee Kei, Suah Jing Ye and Wong Chee Sheng (team Horizon) did recently. The trio qualified for the finals round of the SEAR PLC Design Competition 2022, where they finished 1st runner up.
The SEAR PLC Design Competition 2022 jointly organized by Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) and Republic Polytechnic Singapore.
Prior to the competition, the event organiser held a workshop on the use of Automation Studio to familiarise participants with the layout and fundamentals, allowing them to better understand the software.
Automation Studio is a circuit design, simulation and project documentation software for fluid power systems and electrical projects conceived by Famic Technologies Inc.
It is used in CAD, maintenance, and training. Engineers, trainers, and service and maintenance personnel are the primary users. Automation Studio can be used for hydraulics, pneumatics, HMI, and electrical control system design, training, and troubleshooting.
The educational version of Automation Studio is a simplified version that engineering and technical universities use to train future engineers and technicians. The software is designed for use in universities that teach technical subjects like industrial technologies, mechatronics, electromechanical technologies, electrical & electronics, automation, and maintenance. Modelling and simulation are used to demonstrate theoretical aspects.
All participants were surprised by the missing runtime directory (error) that was discovered in all software installations after installing both the software and the material from Google Drive, which was a hindrance. And in order to solve this, they must communicate via the Team channel provided by the organiser during the competition.
The question was shared from a Google doc, and the competition lasted 3.5 hours in total.
Team Horizon scribbles the general system requirements in OneNote and manages to clarify the required function block as well as the system components with one another based on their understanding.
Following that, they began building the system from the first step and progressed to the fifth steps. Their group approached the problem from a programming standpoint, using flags and variables to solve it, but they quickly realised that it was not feasible due to the nature of the software.
They devote considerable time to determining how to prevent the system from entering an infinite loop in steps 4 and 5. When they did, the time remaining was insufficient to complete the rest of the question.
Team Horizon were unable to complete the question and only managed to successfully build up to step 5 without error, but they were able to submit the file along with the simulation video to the link provided and began to prepare their 5-minute presentation, followed by a 5-minute Q&A session.
“We gained many experiences from this competition, and with the guidance of our mentor, Ts. Dr. Arun Seeralan Balakrishnan, we were able to properly utilise the software with the fundamentals required to initiate the programme.
“The competition was enjoyable and interesting for us because it was our first time participating in such an event. Our team is looking forward to the next opportunity to broaden our ‘horizon’,” said Jing Ye, representing team Horizon.
Ts. Dr. Arun mentioned that team Horizon gave an excellent presentation on their programme and was very thorough in their explanation.
“When the results were announced, Horizon was overjoyed to learn that they had won 1st runner-up,” he explained.