Functional mechanical design

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Disciplinary Sector: 
Applied Mechanics for Machinery
First semester
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Learning outcomes of the course unit

Knowledge and ability to understand: through the frontal lessons held during the course, the student will acquire the basic knowledge of statics, dynamics, kinematics, transmission of motion and forces in simple mechanisms.
Ability to apply knowledge and understanding: through the practical exercises carried out in class on some topics of the program, students will learn how to apply the acquired knowledge in a real context of analysis and design of automatic machines and advanced automation systems.
Autonomy of judgment: The student will be able to understand and critically evaluate the functioning of the main mechanical systems for automating; among the objectives of the course is to train the figure of the mechanical designer, able to analyze the required functionality and to design high performance automation systems in efficiency and economy.
Learning skills: Students who have attended the course will be able to critically analyze automatic machines and simple industrial automation systems, and therefore deepen their knowledge of mechanical design through the independent consultation of specialized texts, scientific or popular magazines, even outside the topics covered strictly in class, in order to effectively deal with the insertion into the world of work or undertake subsequent training courses.
Communication skills: Through frontal lessons and the comparison with the teacher, the student acquires the specific vocabulary inherent in automatic machines and robotics. It is expected that, at the end of the course, the student will be able to present and discuss automation problems, both orally and in writing, such as ideas, engineering problems and related solving methodologies. The student must communicate their knowledge with adequate means, therefore, for the resolution of numerical problems is expected to use tools commonly used in the field, such as tables, drawings, numerical spreadsheets.



Course contents summary

The course aims to provide the student with the general criteria for the design and construction of the main machines. Therefore, the contents proposed during the lessons, in the first part, concern the mechanisms for the design of automatic machines, the synthesis of motion and advanced automation systems. The second part discusses aspects of robotics and flexible automation.

Course contents

Introduction to mechanisms and path generation
Trajectories, displacements, velocity and acceleration
Hints to computer programming for mechanical design
Laws of motion in general
Acceleration coefficient
Velocity coefficient
Families of laws of motion
The jerk problem
Cams, a general survey
Displacement diagram
Base radius
Numeric synthesis of cams
The transmission angle and its link with the velocity coefficient
Cam followers types
Undercutting problems
Cams for special applications
Hints to the four bar linkage
Numeric determination of connecting rod points trajectory
Crank mechanism as force multiplier
Toggle press
Superposition of dead centres of the crank mechanism
Smoothing movements via flywheel
Hint to clutch brake assembly

Recommended readings

The following reference books, which are an integrating part of the didactic material, are used during the lessons and exercises:
- P.L. MAGNANI, G. RUGGIERI: Meccanismi per macchine automatiche. UTET, ISBN-10: 8802040249.
- G. LEGNANI: Robotica industriale, CEA, ISBN-10: 8808086313

Teaching methods

The course counts 6 CFUs (one CFU, University Credits equals one ECTS credit and represents the workload of a student during educational activities aimed at passing the exams), which corresponds to 48 hours of lectures. The didactic activities will be carried out privileging frontal lessons and exercises, which will be held online on Microsoft Teams platform according to the official timetable of the lessons published. During the frontal lessons the course topics will be dealt with from a theoretical and planning point of view, in order to promote a deep understanding of the issues and to bring out any preconceptions on the topics in question by the trainees.
During the exercises carried out in class, students will be required to apply the theory to an exercise, a real case study or a project developed according to the methodological criteria illustrated in the lessons and in the bibliographic and didactic material.
The reference didactic material consists of the recommended books. Students who are not attending are reminded to check the recommended didactic material, the recorded video lessons and the indications provided by the teacher through the Elly platform, the only communication tool used for direct teacher/student contact.
The possibility to realize in a group (3 or 4 people maximum) an interdisciplinary and optional project work, allows the student to extend and apply with a practical activity, on a small scale, the knowledge acquired theoretically related to the design and implementation of a small robot or automation software. Students who have decided to carry out the optional group project must submit the project to the teacher on any day prior to the official date of the exam

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination is an oral test. The test, lasting about 20 minutes, consists of a discussion on 4 randomly selected course topics, both theoretical and practical (drawings and exercises). The test can cover theoretical contents, demonstrations, exercises faced during the course; demonstrations and theoretical treatises have a weight of 1.5; technical drawings weight 1.5; exercises weight 2.0. The final grade is calculated by assigning to each question an evaluation from 0 to 30 and making the weighted average of the individual evaluations, with final rounding up; the test is passed if it reaches a score of at least 18 points. The grade is immediately communicated to the student.
Students who have decided to carry out the optional group project must present the project to the teacher on any day prior to the date of the exam. Students who decide not to carry out the group project will have a penalty of 3 points.
Please note that online registration is REQUIRED. Praise is awarded in the case of reaching the maximum score on each item to which is added the mastery of the disciplinary vocabulary.