Teaching Pneumatic Technology – This looks a lot of fun!

Pneumatic systems are extensively used in industry, where factories are commonly plumbed with compressed air. This is because pneumatic systems can provide motive power in a cheaper, safer, more flexible, and more reliable way than a large number of electric motors and actuators.

Pneumatics also has applications in dentistry, construction, mining, and other areas.

The well written curriculum materials supplied with this module help students investigate the basic “building blocks” of modern pneumatics and how they are interconnected to form systems.

The ready-made lessons, for both tutor and student provide a blended learning approach. This gives the opportunity for independent learning, team-work and group demonstrations to be carried out.
Design tasks, including electro-pneumatics, are a key element in this module.

The learning content is designed for flexible delivery from a PC, server system or internet connection. Its html format meets the requirements of the SCORM standard for access on a virtual learning platform. It includes continuous and summative assessment for automatically tracking and marking students’ progress.

Theory presentations in PowerPoint, enable tutors to introduce topics and cover key concepts.

When used with a student response system, automatic tracking of the integrated questions, and instant feedback, helps engage and excite the students. This also saves valuable tutor time with automatic marking and reporting.

Students begin their study of pneumatics by using simple cylinders and interconnection tubes to experiment with the use of gases to transfer force and movement.

More advanced practical activities are carried out using the purpose built pneumatics panel trainers supplied with the module.

One covers basic pneumatic devices such as cylinders and valves, the other introduces more advanced electro pneumatic components, including solenoid valves, sensors and electronic logic controllers.

Using the pneumatics simulator software, you can turn every PC into a fully functioning pneumatics and electro pneumatics training system.

This means that you only need one hardware system in the classroom.
Students can replicate the practical tasks that they can do on the actual hardware, right on their computer screens.

An on-screen Pneumatics Application explorer allows students to carry out their own research tasks to develop their underpinning knowledge. Through the use of high quality illustrations, animations and voice support, they are enthused and inspired, discovering pneumatic principles and concepts for themselves.

Interconnecting various control valves and actuators, as well as reading pressure gauges, recognising standard pneumatic symbols and selecting the right type of cylinder for a specific task are just some of the skills students have to acquire.

They will also learn about digital logic and how to configure pneumatic and electro pneumatic control systems.

Students are faced with a number of design challenges that require them to draw on the knowledge and skills gained as they work through the curriculum.

These challenges include designing a door safety interlock system.

They also investigate and build a solution for an electro pneumatic parts sorting system.

Within the activities, students apply various scientific laws and principles.

They also perform mathematical calculations in the context of real engineering systems. This approach makes the ST270 a great application for a STEM programme.

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