Nowadays Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) have a widespread use in industrial applications. They are dedicated for the control of several machines and systems. Their rugged design makes them suitable for even severe conditions. Because of the importance of PLCs in the engineering field, it is essential for electrical engineering students to get a thorough understanding of their behavior. The aim of my diploma thesis was to create a laboratory equipment which helps them deepen their PLC programming knowledge. With the help of specific laboratory appliances they can put theory into practice. As a consequence, they gain invaluable experience which can be used in their later works. I chose to design and build a PLC controlled elevator for laboratory equipment.
I started my work with a literature review in the field of elevators. I also presented a basic understanding of PLC based controls, with special attention to the actual devices used during my work. After the literature review I started the mechanical design of the elevator. During the design of the elevator model special aspects have to be taken into consideration: as the model will be used as a laboratory equipment, it has to be compact, easy to install and understand. The mechanical model of the elevator was designed by using a 3D CAD software. The next step was the electrical design of the elevator: All the required electronical devices (sensors and actuators) has been chosen. I also designed the additional circuitry which are needed for the elevator to operate. The last major part of my thesis includes the written PLC program. All in all, my thesis covered all fields of a mechatronics engineer: I needed mechanical, electrical, as well as programming knowledge during my work.