MecLab® – Technology for schools

Automation technology in school

Automation technology is one of the most important growth technologies in the world. Automated systems are to be found in virtually every area of life today.

Festo is the innovative leader in industry and process automation. And with our subsidiary Festo Didactic, we are the leading provider of learning and skills-development solutions.

With MecLab®, the new learning system for schools, pupils gain insights into one of the most significant fields of application for automation technology – production technology.

The three MecLab® stations represent simplified models of typical processes to be found in any automated production plant.

The learning objectives of MecLab®

With MecLab® a wealth of teaching topics and curriculum requirements can be covered, because its contents can be adapted accordingly:

  • Introduction to industrial production
  • Using technical terms correctly
  • Planning, developing and setting up technical systems
  • Understanding and using technical documentation; creating and using schematic diagrams, circuit diagrams, parts lists and technical drawings
  • Building models and creating simulations
  • Understanding and applying open- and closed-control loop systems
  • System thinking and understanding the interactions of subsystems
  • Developing and constructing electric, electronic and pneumatic circuits
  • Understanding and using pneumatic and electrical actuators, sensors and controllers
  • Using computers as tools for programming and simulation

Realistic and fascinating

  • MecLab® replicates real industrial production processes.
  • Only industrial components are employed.
  • The pupils are presented with a diverse range of modification, expansion and programming possibilities.

The tools required for making modifications are included. The wiring of the electrical components is simple and does not require tools, due to the use of standardised plugs. That lets you utilise MecLab® flexibly in your classes, however you prefer.

Modular and flexible

The MecLab® stations can be used alone. Each one performs a practical function in itself, offering a wide range of learning possibilities and subject matter.

In addition, the stations can be joined together to form more complex “production lines”. This results in many opportunities for project work.

Thus, after a short initial training period, pupils can take on the role of engineer and start working with MecLab®. By interchanging components, the standard exercises can be expanded and changed.

The hardware

MecLab® is delivered in practical, stackable Systainers, which function as storage units as well as transport packaging.

MecLab® is delivered fully assembled and ready for immediate use.

MecLab® is sturdy and fully capable of withstanding the rigors of a school environment.

The individual stations have different functions:

  • The Stacking Magazine station contains a workpiece storage container and a feed separator.
  • The Conveyor station can transport and sort workpieces.
  • The Handling station can grip the workpieces and deposit them at defined points.

The accompanying documents on CD-ROM

The complete package includes a CD-ROM with:

  • Start-up instructions: detailed step-by-step instructions showing how to connect the stations to the computer and how to write simple programs, with teacher’s tips for lesson planning.
  • Theoretical text with the fundamentals of pneumatics, electrical engineering, electrical actuators, sensors and control technology.
  • Book of exercises with 5-7 exercises per station and prepared worksheets in *.doc format with solutions; these can be easily adapted to meet your particular requirements.
  • Prepared PowerPoint presentations with extensive visual materials for use in class
  • Videos
  • Technical data for all components

Control with FluidSIM® software

The stations are controlled with FluidSIM® software and the EasyPort interface.

FluidSIM® is the application for creating and simulating pneumatic and electrical circuits and programmable logic controllers. With its universal PC interface, FluidSIM® can control the MecLab® stations directly. As a result, the pupils can follow a continuous functional chain from the circuit diagram to simulation to control.

Since FluidSIM® is supplied as a classroom licence, the number of pupils who can work with FluidSIM® at one time is limited to six per station. They can use it to try out their solutions in simulation before testing them on the real station. Moreover, FluidSIM® provides information at the click of a mouse button about all components, and many informative animated sequences.

The complete package

Contains everything you need for working with MecLab®:

  • 1 Stacking Magazine station
  • 1 Conveyor station
  • 1 Handling station
  • 1 compressor 230 V with connector for DE, FR, NO, SE, FI, PT, ES, AT, NL, BE, GR, TR, IT, DK, IR, ID or 1 compressor 110 V with connector for US, CA, Central America, BR, CO, YU, EC, KR
  • 3 x EasyPort to connect the stations to the computer
  • 3 x power supply unit with connector for DE, FR, NO, SE, FI, PT, ES, AT, NL, BE, GR, TR, IT, DK, IR, ID or 3 x power supply unit with connector for US, CA, Central America, BR, CO, YU, EC, KR
  • FluidSIM®
  • Documents on CD-ROM
  • Workpieces
  • Tools
  • Screw set
  • Systainers