World-Class PLC Laboratory Opened

From now on, electrical engineering students at UD will be able to learn how to use programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in an industrial environment. In connection with the new lab, representatives of companies operating in the region discussed opportunities for cooperation with the faculty.

- It is a world-class laboratory where electrical engineering students can learn about PLCs in a nearly industrial environment. This is an important part in the education of electrical engineering students, who will be able to use the lab in connection with several subjects – explained Ferenc Kun, dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the opening ceremony of the Eaton-PLC laboratory of the Institute of Physics on Thursday.

Regarding the extensive corporate network of the Faculty, Ferenc Kun pointed out that besides hiring engineers, corporate partners were also willing to be involved in the education programmes. They help the faculty with instruments, dual programmes, practical training, and topics for degree theses.

- The Faculty of Science and Technology is committed to developing the education of engineering students. The reconstruction of the infrastructure of the Institute of Physics will start soon. By September 2019 all laboratories used in the education of engineering students will be upgraded. The purpose of the 75 million HUF investment is to modernize the basic infrastructure of labs. As for the equipment and the installation of instruments, we rely on our partners. We would also like to establish further corporate rooms, based on the example of the PLC lab.

In his opening speech István Szabó, director of the Institute of Physics, highlighted that the installation of instruments offered by Eaton Enterprise Kft. has raised the quality of education. The Institute contributed to the establishment of the lab through the renovation of the room, as well as with the hard work of students and teachers in the last six months.

- These industrial computers that, owing to their special hardware and the associated software package, are able to control industrial processes play a vital role in companies using Industry 4.0 technologies. In recent years a large number of electrical engineering students in the BSc programme have chosen topics related to PLCs for their theses, typically with supervisors from the corporate world. We hope that this trend will continue – said István Szabó.

Teaching about programmable logic controls has a 15-year history at the Institute of Physics. It was Sándor Misák laboratory leader, who is responsible for the BSc programme in electrical engineering, who introduced the education programme about PLCs. He has the credit for all the success and awards achieved by our students at PLC competitions in recent years.

- We have received not only hardware, but software support and a high level of expertise as well. We have used the instruments donation for creating 10 PLC presentation boards. With the help of the integrated sensors, drives, motors, switches and controllers students can prepare themselves for most of the challenges of control technologies – said Sándor Misák. The lab leader added that this semester 45 Hungarian and 22 foreign students are using the lab, but a course has also been launched for chemical engineering MSc students.

On behalf of the donor, Eaton Enterprise Kft., Tamás Abelovszky PNC Team Manager said that for their company, which deals with automation and energy distribution, the opening of the educational lab is a huge milestone.

- Our objective is to help UD to educate engineers who know these complex systems that are present in every phase of the manufacturing process, also to be able to use them with confidence, to the satisfaction of their future employers. These tools are worth nothing without engineers who know how to use them. It is the transfer of this expertise with which we would like to contribute to the future success of engineering students – said Tamás Abelovszky.

The opening ceremony of the laboratory, which is worth tens of millions HUF, was followed by a professional forum entitled "Future of the education of electrical engineering students in Debrecen", where Gábor Battistig, head of the Department of Electrical Engineering gave a presentation about plans regarding the MSc educational programmes in electrical engineering to the corporate partners of the Faculty of Science and Technology (Balluff, Borsodchem, Eaton, EON, Evosoft, FAG, Jabil, Krones, MSK, NAT, NI, Procter and Gamble, Rafi, Richter Gedeon). Mr. Battistig emphasised that according to plan, the MSc programme will start with specialisations in electronic component design and manufacturing, and in sustainable electrical power. The education programme of electrical engineering students would put great emphasis on project work carried out with the involvement of corporate partners.

Press Office