& Case Studies
Our commitment to customer needs and requirements has been
gained from many years experience in this field. All our trained
staff strive to offer excellent customer support, from initial
enquiry right through to 'After Sales' care.
Portable Hydraulics Training System
Case Study - Sutton Coldfield College
Sutton Coldfield college, in Birmingham, has for many years
offered training in hydraulics and has recently been awarded
CoVE (Centre of Vocational Excellence) status in Integrated
Manufacturing Technology. As part of the upgrade for Cove
there was a requirement to update some of the facilities at
the college, including the hydraulics equipment.
The hydraulics training equipment previously in use at the
college was supplied some years ago and consisted of 6 training
rigs, from 3 different manufacturers, each brand being incompatible
with the others. Some of them were incomplete, while others,
due to their design, leaked hydraulic fluid onto the floor
and were therefore potentially dangerous to staff and students
alike. All of the training rigs were very large and cumbersome,
thereby taking up a lot of precious space.
MECHATRONICS, who are a long standing supplier to the
college, were approached regarding the possibility of providing
hydraulic training rigs that were clean in use, compact and
space saving, used genuine industrial components, are user
friendly, portable (for use on-site at clients premises) and
above all low cost.
The unique Portable Hydraulics Training System from MECHATRONICS
was able to meet all of the criteria set, in fact it is the
only system that was able to meet all of the college's requirements.
Due to its portability it is not only possible to take the
equipment into companies for 'On-site' training programmes
but also allows the classroom to be 'multi-tasked', when not
running hydraulic courses. The 'Flat-Face' couplings are extremely
clean in use, something that both the students and staff like,
as they are no longer 'swimming in oil' as was previously
the case. Students find the system a lot easier to use and
therefore gain a better understanding of hydraulics, resulting
in more interest being shown and higher attainment being achieved.
The equipment has been well used by a wide range of trainees
from youngsters through to mature candidates from a range
of local engineering companies, including large multi-nationals,
some of this training has been carried out at the clients
premises. Mature candidates particularly like the fact that
all of the equipment is 'genuine' industrial and therefore
relates to real world circuits and applications.
"The hydraulic units proved not only to be reliable
but also adaptable and above all robust, the portability of
the units has enabled the College to deliver specialist on
Ray Kitchin, Deputy Director, Faculty of Engineering, Sutton
Modular Training System (MTS)
Case Study - BlackCCAT Cove
A consortium of five colleges formed BlackCCAT (Black Country
Centre for Advanced Technology) and has been successful in
being awarded collaborative Cove status; the colleges are
Dudley, Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, Sandwell and Walsall.
Part of what the colleges required for this Cove was a training
system for industrial handling and automation. The BlackCCAT
body was represented by a panel from the five colleges and
all companies that they considered as potential suppliers
were invited to give a presentation of what they could offer
and why they should be considered as a partner in the project.
Eleven companies were at the original presentation and from
this it was short listed to five, these short listed companies
were then required to offer proposals. From these proposals
MECHATRONICS was selected as the partner for this part
of the project.
To design, develop, build, install, commission, provide staff
training and full documentation for a training system to cover
industrial automation and control. This system was to cover
as wide a scope as possible in the number of courses and the
levels of students that could gain from its use. It was to
cover from craft through to higher national curriculum, as
well as mature students on short industrial courses. The system
would be required to cover as many mechanical as well as electrical
/ electronic subject matters as possible, it was to be supplied
fully documented and fully commissioned so that it could be
used 'straight out of the box'.
An essential requirement of the system was that it must be
used on a regular basis to 'earn its keep', unlike other systems
on the market which were viewed and rejected as too complicated
and subsequently never get used but take up a lot of valuable
space and are extremely expensive to purchase.
MECHATRONICS worked with the lecturing staff who would
be using the system to establish what they and their students
would like from the end product. From this a five station
configuration was decided upon, which covers pneumatics, electro-pneumatics,
hydraulics, P.L.C.'s, stepper motors, d.c. motors, vacuum,
robotics, electrics, sensors, electronics etc.. utilising
a wide variety of different products to give as wide a coverage
of subject areas and curriculum as possible.
At various stages through the build process the lecturing
staff were involved to ensure that the finished item would
be exactly as they expected.
Upon completion of the project build and prior to delivery,
the lecturing staff that would be using the equipment were
trained at MECHATRONICS training centre, so that upon
delivery of their system they were ready to use it straight
Upon delivery, the system was installed, commissioned and
demonstrations carried out to both staff and students, much
to the delight of the lecturers and Mr. Roger Wilson, Head
Case Study - Dudley College
Dudley college, had over a number of years, acquired pneumatics
and hydraulics training equipment, which they used on various
City & Guilds, BTEC and EAL courses.
More and more frequently the college was being requested by
local industry whether they could offer training in these
subjects for their mature staff, on a 'short course' basis.
Most of the existing equipment was in need of upgrading, especially
the hydraulics, which was big, cumbersome, dirty in use and
not very conducive to the professional image which the college
wished to portray.
As the requirements fell within the remit for European funding,
it was decided to follow this route with a view to total replacement
of equipment and refurbishment of the laboratory / classroom
where it was to be situated, to create a 'Fluid Power Suite'.
To carry out an assessment of exactly what equipment the college
presently had and establish its condition, in regards to whether
it was suitable for refurbishment.
In conjunction with college staff, establish which courses
would be offered and from this create a 'wish list' of equipment
required to carry out these courses. This wish list was to
cover the number of students (group size) as well as the curriculum
Offer various proposals, regarding the refurbishment or replacement
of the equipment, suitable for the new facility, which the
college were creating.
Work with the college to get funding through the ERDF (European
Regional Development Fund) to cover a large proportion of
the total project costs.
It was soon established that a lot of the existing equipment
was beyond economical repair and was not ideal for refurbishment,
some being no longer made, in some cases the manufacturers
quoted higher prices to refurbish than to replace with new.
Based on group size and curriculum criteria, a package was
proposed which comprised 3 double sided pneumatics laboratory
trolleys, equipped with pneumatics, electro-pneumatics and
P.L.C.'s and 3 double sided hydraulics laboratory trolleys,
equipped with hydraulics, electro-hydraulics and proportional
This equipment has all been set up in the refurbished laboratory
/ classroom as a dedicated fluid power training facility and
has been very successful for the college, who now offer a
wider range of training for local industry. As a direct result
of this facility Dudley college became a 'preferred supplier'
to Rover cars, a company that had not previously used the
college, this eventually led to the college taking over the
running of Rover's 'Centre for Learning' at the Longbridge
plant and conducting all their engineering training.