Miniature factory

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Miniature factory



Suitable for:

  • Unit 15 of the BTEC Higher National: Automation, robotics and PLCs

  • Unit 12 of the BTEC National: Pneumatic and Hydraulic systems



Our miniature factory allows students to get experience of a number of processes/technologies that are commonly used in manufacturing, including: conveyor systems, sensing systems, pneumatic pick and place technology, DC motor drives and stepper motor drives.  The factory includes a number of coloured components - plastic discs.  A conveyor belt moves these pieces into the factory where a colour sensor produces a voltage proportional to colour for each disc.  Some are rejected by a piston.  Others are picked off the conveyor by the suction device and a stepper motor controlled gantry sorts the discs into appropriately coloured containers.  The miniature factory is completely self contained and can be stored away in one of our standard trays.  The miniature factory can be used with any 12V or 24C PLC and is also compatible with our MIAC range of controllers which must be ordered separately. 

Learning objectives/experiments

  • Factory control and automation systems
  • Software design for automation
  • DC motor and stepper drives
  • Conveyor and gantry systems
  • Vacuum pick and place systems
  • Component sensing and sorting
  • System design with more than one controller (some systems)


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