UGA Engineering, Baldor team up to create new instructional tool

Instructional tool teamStudents in the University of Georgia College of Engineering now have access to 20 state-of-the-art motor speed control systems thanks to the ingenuity and generosity of the Baldor Electric Company.

Takoi Hamrita, a professor in the UGA College of Engineering, worked with a team from Baldor’s electric motor plant in Athens to research, design and build the new systems. The systems include .25 horse-power three-phase AC motors,  sensor/gear units for detecting the speed of the motors, and ABB variable frequency drives to control the speed of the motors.

“This new system will be instrumental in many of our courses and will facilitate instructing students about motors and variable drives, hall effect sensors, and how to monitor and control the speed of a motor,” said Hamrita. “For example, students in our embedded systems course will use the hardware to design and test a digital tachometer.”

Hamrita reached out to the group of Baldor managers and engineers, all UGA engineering graduates, to begin the process of building the new systems more than a year ago.

“We’re excited to contribute to the engineering program at UGA,” said Operational Excellence Manager Mike Bell, a 1988 agricultural engineering graduate. “This new system will further enhance students’ knowledge of industrial practices.”

“It was good to give back to the College of Engineering through this project,” noted Wesley Spires, a manufacturing engineer, 2011 UGA graduate, and a former student of Hamrita. “This system will provide students a hands-on opportunity to learn about key concepts in manufacturing.”

Other members of the Baldor team participating in the project included manufacturing engineering Nathan Kelley (BSAE, 2013), senior controls engineer Chase Mooney (BSAE, 2012), and manufacturing engineering manager Mark Reynolds (BSAE, 1988).

Jake Dungan of Fowler Products in Athens designed and produced a polycarbonate safety guard for the systems’ motor assembly.

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