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Mechatronics Classes

 

To obtain a mechatronics certificate, students are required to complete the seven courses listed on the tabs above.

 

To obtain an associate's degree in mechatronics, the same seven mechatronics courses are required plus general education classes such as English, social studies, etc. (See Sierra College catalog or a counselor for details.) 

 

Click on any of the tabs above for details about each class. All of our courses have lab sessions where students actually do what was talked about during lecture. We typically have two hours of lab time for each hour of lecture time, so we truly are a "hands-on" program, where students get to practice the skills used out in industry.

 

MECH-54 and MECH-90 have the other courses as prerequisites and therefore need to be taken towards the end of the program. The other courses can be taken in any order that fits with the student's schedule and areas of special interest. A recommended class sequence is MECH-10 with MECH-14, followed by MECH-4 with MECH-44, finishing with MECH-54 and MECH-90. MECH-25 can be taken whichever semester fits best in each student's schedule.

 

All of the classes listed above are offered on the Rocklin campus. The majority of the classes are also available on the Nevada County and Tahoe-Truckee campuses. Contact us or visit www.sierracollege.edu for the current schedule of course offerings on each campus.

"Personal Computer Configuration and Repair", MECH-25, teaches students how to build, repair and upgrade computers as well as perform installation of operating systems, perform virus removal, techniques for hard-drive backup and hard-drive "crash" recovery, etc. Networking fundamentals and techniques for interfacing with industrial equipment is also covered.

"Fundamentals of Mechatronics", MECH-4, teaches the basic skills of industrial automation / robotics such as single-phase and three-phase power, wiring standards, AC to DC conversion, electric motors and solenoids (AC and DC), stepper and servo motors, VFD control of AC motors, sensors (temperature, pressure, capacitive, inductive, etc.), PLC programming and pneumatics. The course also includes a detailed look at industrial safety.

 

This course makes extensive use of our custom-designed PLC trainers from SMC Corporation, which utilize multiple sensor types, motors, solenoids and pnuematic cylinders all under PLC control. See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for pictures of these trainers.

"Fundamentals of Electronics", MECH-10, covers the basic principles and hands-on skills of electronics, such as voltage, current and resistance/reactance relationships in AC and DC circuits, theory of operation and industrial applications of transistors and integrated circuits, digital logic fundamentals, as well as use of measurement equipment (voltmeters, oscilloscopes, in-line and clamp-on ammeters, etc.).

 

Students build and keep several electronics projects. See the "Photo Gallery" tab at the top of the page for examples.

"Fabrication Techniques", MECH-14, teaches students basic project fabrications skills such as precision measurement (scales, calipers, etc.), basic metalworking (shears, brakes, drill presses, punches, bend allowances, etc.), electrical soldering including Surface Mount Technology, schematic capture, circuit-board layout and design rule checking and fundamentals of technical drafting. 

 

For the main class project, students, design, build and keep a variable DC power supply. See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for examples of some of the student designs.

"Mechatronics Processes and Materials", MECH-44, is usually taken as a follow-on course to MECH-14 and covers more advanced electrical and mechanical fabrications skills.

 

The main project in this class is a small robot arm which the students fabricate, assemble, program, test and take home. During this course students are introduced to the use of the mill and lathe and learn about other industrial fundamental topics such as bearings, springs, tapping of threads, thread repair with a helicoil, etc. Students are also introduced to microcontroller programming.

 

See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for some of the student robot arm implementations, including some customized designs.

"Mechatronics Systems", MECH-54, has MECH-4 as a prerequisite and covers industrial control concepts to a greater depth as well as introducing new topics suuch as hydraulics. The emphasis of this course is on closed-loop process control and spends significant time on AtoD and DtoA conversion methods and applications.

 

Extensive use is made of our custom-designed hydraulic trainers to give students a foundation in the theory and application of hydraulic systems. Computer-based design and simulation of hydraulic systems is also covered.

 

Furthermore students analyze, test, write PLC code and optimize the performance of individual stations of our multi-station Sun Corporation mechatronics training system. Using industrial-quality components, this system emulates the mutliple stations found in an actual manufacturing facility, except on a slightly smaller scale so as to be usable in the classroom.

 

See the "Photo Gallery" tab near the top of the page for pictures of our hydraulic and Sun mechatronic training systems.

"Microcontroller Embedded Systems", MECH-90, teaches students the underlying principles and hands-on skills for the application of microcontrollers, the electronics "brain" inside everything from microwave ovens to large robots. After being taught the fundamentals of microcontroller operation, hardware interfacing and control software development, students spend the majority of the semester designing, building and programming a project of their own choosing (with the assistance of the instructor).

 

See the "Photo Gallery" tab above for examples for some of the creative projects our students have designed.

 

This course has MECH-10 and MECH-14 as pre-requisites and is intended to be taken toward the end of the course sequence since these student designs utilize the knowledge and skills gained throughout the course of our program.

 
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