Three student engineers in the Netherlands have developed an innovative concept for a machine for grinding and waxing skis and snowboards. Always keen to encourage young talent, Eldon is sponsoring the project with a high quality electrical control enclosure.
Jörgen Bakker, Daan van Aert and Jimmy Hagens are studying Mechatronica at the Markiezaat College in Bergen op Zoom, a city in the south of the Netherlands. The course is a combination of mechanical and electrical engineering.
Graduation project with limited budget
For their graduation project, the students are required to develop an innovative machine on a budget of only 500 Euro. The machine must be controlled by a Mitsubishi PLC, and be portable and compact enough to fit in the school elevator.
Jörgen Bakker had an idea: “I had recently started working at a local sports shop maintaining snowboards. The grinding and waxing is hard manual work and in the winter we have a lot of customers. So I thought it might be a fun challenge to develop a machine that could do the job instead.”
That is exactly what the students did. The innovative machine Jörgen and his colleagues are building is significantly different to other machines of its type, since the grinding and waxing are performed vertically. “This has entailed some design challenges, but it also allows the machine to be quite compact,” says Jörgen.
It’s also simple to operate. “You open the door and push the base of the snowboard or ski against an arm with suction cups attached. Shut the door, which will then be locked, the top of the board is grabbed by two arms also fitted with suction cups, and the grinding and waxing take place.”
An interesting concept, but how could the students develop and build such a machine on a budget of only 500 Euro? Jörgen’s brother had the answer.
Why not contact Eldon?
Jörgen’s brother suggested that the students should talk to Eldon who had sponsored his graduation project previously. So Jörgen e-mailed a description of the concept and a photo of the prototype design to Eldon’s office in Schiphol-Rijk.
“A couple of days later we were contacted by Eldon’s Sales Director, Ype-Jan van Slooten,” says Jörgen. “He informed us that they had decided to sponsor us with the electrical control cabinet we wanted!”
The enclosure is an MKS18084R5, a robust, single door, floor standing unit in mild steel that will be mounted over the full height of the machine, and will hold every part that has to do with the controls of the machine. This will include a compressor for all the pneumatics on the machine, motor drives, a vacuum cleaner for collecting the dust and a touchscreen to operate it all.
Already attracting interest!
“We are very grateful to Eldon for their sponsorship and have begun building the machine. After is finalized and successfully tested, my boss would like one for the shop. Everyone who hears about it is really interested,” says Jörgen in conclusion.