A new piece of equipment has arrived at the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas. It will expand the curriculum there and be available to other area educators and students. The unit is a self-contained Pumps and Process Automation Lab made by Turbine Technologies. Students can literally see through the mechanics of fluids in motion through pipes and centrifuges. Also visible are curves where cavitation (bubbles or vapor cavities) can form and be corrected to maximize flow efficiency.
Our friends at the Northern Tier Industry Education Consortium (NTIEC) assisted with acquiring the system by utilizing Coterra’s EITC funding. Two things stand out about the FLUIDMechtronix unit:
- State-of-the-art WiFi-driven software that allows for students in the classroom or remote to follow along and work with the instructors.
- The system is compact enough to move to another location for mechanically-related workshops easily.
“The Fluid Mechtronix unit adds incredible value to the students in the Lackawanna College School of Petroleum & Natural Gas program,” said Coterra divisional superintendent of the Marcellus Business Unit BJ Cline. “It’s specifically focused on automation and will supplement the existing PNG program by offering a controlled environment with instant feedback. This allows students to obtain a thorough understanding of how to troubleshoot issues in the workplace, which will help jumpstart their careers.”
Teachers and regional high school students can go to the School of PNG for a hands-on experience in a dedicated classroom setting. The unit can also move to a high school for an extended time, as it fits through standard doors. We’re hoping that it will be an integral part of NTIEC’s energy and manufacturing career camps over the summer.
Some people have compared the see-through parts of the unit to the components of an add-on hamster dwelling. In addition, the unit features a human-machine interface (HMI) that allows the system operator to interact with the whole system. This allows the student to program logic control scenarios. The interface is also accessible from a PC or tablet, allowing for remote operation modifications. It’s a process that becomes more common in our business all the time.
Bolsters Existing Curriculum
Lackawanna College will use the automation lab in its standard coursework. Alternatively, the unit also lends itself to additional career paths like petrochemical production, power generation, and other manufacturing. “We are thrilled to add Fluid Mechtronix to our PNG curriculum. Students will have hands-on training with this state-of-the-art teaching system,” said PNG program director Sue Gumble. “The clear-view flow path components will enhance visual learning and comprehension for any student interested in manufacturing and industrial automation.”