PLC Closed Loop Temperature Control

Abstract PDF: 

US Synthetic Bearings (USS Bearings) makes long-lasting diamond bearings for down-hole drilling tools, pumps, and other demanding applications. Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) bearings provide a high-performance alternative to conventional bearings. They are ideally suited for operations in process fluids where abrasive particles can cause accelerated wear in roller or plain bearings as seen in down-hole oil drilling applications.

The current brazing process is a manual process requiring an operator to turn on and off the power and manually move the heater back and forth to evenly heat the bearing. This project was to design and test a machine that will automate the brazing process and remove the operator to operator variation. We programmed a PLC, tested a new braze quantity, redesigned the cooling procedures, and designed a new machine layout.

This project was the first attempt at an automated brazing machine for USS Bearings. It aided in the quality and yield of the bearings by controlling the heat and preventing rework. In addition to delivering a programed PLC, the team optimized heater motion, braze quality, and cooling parameters. By controlling the heating, we prevent damaging the bearing by not overheating and cracking the diamonds. The automated movement of the heater will maintain the even heating over the entire bearing, preventing warping. The new braze quantity will ensure full brazing and will reduce the need for rework. The new cooling parameters will reduce the processing time by 45% allowing more throughput. With these four improvements, it is estimated that first time yield will improve along with a reduction in the processing time.

School Year (term): 
US Synthetic Corporation
Team Name: 
Carl Wood
Team Members: 
Ignacio Riquelme, Trevor Olsen, Tyler Dunaway, Mika Goodman, and Jacob Jackson

Brigham Young University - Provo | Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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