Published: April 22, 2019
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By: Andres Bergsneider, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
Hashtags: #capstoneproject #Design #Electrical #Engineering #LabVIEW #machinevision #MedicalDevices #Project #seniorproject #Solidworks #Teamwork
To complete my Mechatronic Engineering degree, I was required to complete a capstone senior project class, which spanned throughout my two final semesters of the program. The university likes to bring in real sponsors or companies with real-world engineering problems to solve for our senior project. There is normally a bidirectional selection between sponsors and group of students, who are expected to complete the final development of concept. In the case of my project, a fixture that semi-automated the process of test & calibration to be implemented at Fresenius Manufacturing site in Concord, CA.
As seen in Figure 7, one of the assembly sections that a Dialysis machine undergoes is the test and calibration. Fresenius came to our university asking for a fixture to semi-automate this process. One of their design requirements was to develop this fixture by applying LabVIEW engineering solution, since it’s what is used at their site.
For our solution we researched, sourced, and acquired components to implement a machine vision system, a 2-axis gantry system, pressure transducers, load-cells, and heating pads to be connected into National Instruments CompactRIO. One of my group members sketched this solution for a better understanding, see Figure 1.
My role in this project was project management, where I was able to apply my experience with my Formula SAE Electric team, and I helped organize our team to complete the necessary tasks in a timely manner. My technical role was to develop the gantry system screen interaction. This solution was removed from project due to time constraints, upon which I took lead in the machine vision development. In Figure 2, you can observe a screenshot from my early development of the Block Diagram for reading the dialysis machine using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
Applying the skills I have obtained as a photographer, I was able to select an appropriate camera and sizing lens for best image acquisition. This system uses USB3 Vision interface to transfer a live image to LabVIEW VI at the appropriate frequency for OCR development.
I developed a “Test Plan” for my system, documenting the necessary procedures to ensure the system would work as intended. See Figure 4 for a screenshot.
The project was successfully assembled and the LabVIEW VI fully developed. The project was completed on December 2017.