We were sponsored by PSA to create our lab to simulate port automation. I’ve decided that at the same time, we can also teach students on a current and relevant SkillsFuture emphasized industry: precision manufacturing. In precision manufacturing, you need robots that moves in mircon level precision. I proceeded to design a lab setup that simulates port automation. It consists of:
- Cantilever gantries to simulate Quay Crane
- Yaskawa T gantry to simulate Yard Crane
- XY table to just simulate the prime moves or trucks that moves the container from Quay crane to yard crane
Notice that these three multi axes machines are in themselves just generic precision pick and place machines.
The Yaskawa gantry was picked to introduce students to typical Japanese motion control solution. Japanese companies often use proprietry technologies, for example Yaskawa uses the Mechatrolink fieldbus protocol instead of open protocols like EtherCAT.