Building New Connections at Georgia Tech

Just in time for the start of classes at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, members of our team visited the university to offer engineering students and faculty an opportunity to work with our Proportional Electro-Pneumatic Starter Kit. The kits are designed to help students understand proportional electro-pneumatic control.

Hearing about the kit spurred a lot of ideas from the engineering faculty and staff at Georgia Tech, like adding elements of the kits to an existing robotics course or developing courses around customized kits. The standard kits include a QBT pressure regulator, a pneumatic cylinder, AC/DC DIN Rail 24V power supply and other pneumatic components.

The Proportion-Air team left a starter kit in the Flowers Invention Studio. Flowers Invention Studio is a student-run “makerspace.” Engineering students have access to equipment free of charge in exchange for volunteer hours. Our team also toured the Montgomery Machining Mall and other labs, learning more about the university and its goals for educating future engineers.

Many different projects are in the works, according to Amit Jariwala, the university’s director of design and innovation. One instructor is doing a grad-level project, a machine health device stuck to the side of a milling machine to look for signs of wear and tear. In this application, the goal is to go from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.

Improving Curricula

Offering students real-world experiences, like Georgia Tech’s labs and our starter kits, is critical to their success as future engineers. And it’s addressing a gap we see in fluid power curricula.

“Many universities don’t teach pneumatics but rather focus on hydraulics,” according to Jon Lister, Proportion-Air’s manager of technical development. “Ironically, pneumatics is more widely used in industrial environments.”

Chris Juniper, manager of marketing and sales, agrees. “This is why we are forming working relationships with colleges and universities across the nation. Compressed air is the workhorse of manufacturing, and proportional electro-pneumatic control is an excellent tool to harness it.”

Learn more about our starter kits and other student programs.

Sterling Skinner, left, director of instructional laboratories at Georgia Tech. Skinner helps maintain and develop all of the labs.
Pneumatic system
One of the pneumatic systems built by Skinner.