Friday, 16 June 2017

Delta Cup China – The Journey So Far

The NorthCap University (NCU) collaborated with Delta Electronics Pvt Ltd in January 2017 under the leadership of Director, School of Engineering &Technology, Prof. Ravindra Ojha. This industrial integration with the world’s leading producer of power supplies has provided us three students of NCU: Vibhor Mittal (ECE), Tanyam Popli (ME) and Shivam Notiyal (ME) for creating a Smart Machine model on ‘Self-Check-Out System in Retail’. Our project has been selected through a national level competition to represent India at the ‘Delta Cup Contest’ at South Asia Level to be held at Beijing, China from 24-26 July 2017.

Our journey for the Delta Cup started with a talk on the Delta Cup 2017 by Prof Ravindra Ojha and Mr Vimal Pandey, Delta Electronics India Pvt Ltd to BTech 3rd Year, ME and ECE students at NCU in November 2016. This was followed by an interview at the university level to select 15 Students, nine from ECE and six from ME. We were lucky enough to be selected in this interview. We, along with students of five other universities from North India were given a technical training by industry experts on PLCs, HMIs, Drives, Robotics etc for five days. This included an industrial visit to Delta Electronics India, Gurugram on the last day. It was a great exposure for each one of us. Thereafter we were asked to form teams of three members and an innovative project proposal was to be submitted to Delta.

School of Engineering &Technology -NCUINDIA
Students at work for the Delta Cup finals at Beijing, China
We, Tanyam Popli, Vibhor Mittal and Shivam Nautiyal formed a team and decided to work on a proposal to automate checkout system in retail. Being roommates was a big advantage for us. Keeping in mind the rules and requirements of the competition we submitted a project proposal titled ‘Self-Check-out System in Retail’ that satisfied all the competition criteria and duly approved by Dr Shiv Manjaree Gopaliya, Dept of Mechanical Engineering and Ms Charu Rana, Dept of EECE at the University level. Out of the five project proposals submitted from NCU our team idea was selected by Delta Electronics India. A total of 17 ideas out of 52 were selected Pan India. The proposal was redrafted as per the format provided to us. The second round of selection involved an online technical test. The evaluation was based upon the team’s performance in the online test and their innovative idea in the project proposal. After a long wait, finally, a proud moment for all of us, the team and the University, arrived in the form of the selection of our project for ‘Delta Cup 2017’. Only three teams have been selected to represent India during ‘Delta Cup 2017’ to be held in China from 24 to 28 July 2017.

With this great news, we also had the major challenge of giving shape to our ideas. We are thankful to Prof. Ojha who with his vast industrial experience helped us bridge the gap between reality and the feasibility of our project. Our next step was to fabricate the demo kit for our project which comprises of development of both hardware and software. In the development, maintenance and integration of Android app (offline mode), our sincere thanks are due to Ms Richa Chhabra and our friends Sachin Verma, Palash Sharma and Nivitt Malik, Dept of CSE. They offered us immense help in the realization of our project. PLC programming and other interfacing of Delta products was our major concern as serial communication with Delta PLC through Java had never been done before! Overcoming this concern boosted our confidence to move forward with the hardware part.

Next, we set up the frame of the machine in mild steel and developed the conveyor. In order to make the conveyor light, compact and sturdy we designed the conveyor rollers in nylon with a 2 mm seamless conveyor belt. Initially we thought electromechanical system got converted into the electromechanical design with a pneumatic system. The sealing mechanism consisted of a fixed heating system and a moving plunger to seal the bag. We made the heating system by customizing a normal 12" plastic bag sealer, and the plunger mounted on a pneumatic cylinder with guide rails for support. Once the sealing system was successfully tested, we designed a custom solution for easy application and retrieval of bag. The boom barrier at the end of the entire system has been mounted on a pneumatic rotary cylinder.

Presently, the final challenge which remains before us is designing of a weighing system on which we are working tirelessly. The journey so far has been exciting learning experience and we look forward to bringing laurels to our University in the final presentation of the Delta Cup Contest in China.

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