Competency Demonstration Report Career Episode 3 Introduction 1. This career episode took place in ‘date’. I was employed as an apprentice Electrical Engineer with ‘my company’ and studying for a Higher National Diploma in Electronics at ‘my college/university’. Background 2. I was in the final year of my Higher Diploma studying ‘course’. As part of the course it was necessary to identify and submit a project using electronic hardware. The nature of this project was to develop, build, test and present an electronic project that was software controlled by a programmable integrated circuit (PIC).
I designed and developed a working system that would automatically cover an outside seating area when rain was detected. I prepared and presented accompanying documentation and presented it to my tutor. I obtained technical information from manufacturer’s data sheets in order to carry out the design, programming and operation of the project. I used materials and parts which were either locally available or ordered on line. 3. I submitted my design to my tutor who confirmed the feasibility and criteria requirements would meet or exceed the course of decisions, taken in the design and introducing changes and improvements.
As the necessity of introducing some changes appeared often, we had to reconsider some decisions to meet requirements for cost, operation quality of equipment and materials, which were implemented in the design. 4. I completed the project within an agreed timescale of 14 weeks and also within my budget allocation of ? 100 UK Sterling. I also developed a first class presentation outlining the details of my project. I applied my computer skills in order to document my findings and also to carry out work to the highest quality. I presented the project using ‘Microsoft Power Point’ which I am proficient at.
I also used “MS Word” and “MS Excel” for documentation. I then completed a successful working model demonstration to fellow pupils, tutor and college engineering board. Personal Workplace Activity 5. During the development of this design I had a number of duties. These included; • • • • • • Design, manufacture and building of project. Utilising locally available materials. Testing the system and improving it. Completing project within an agreed timescale and budget Meeting all the evidence required for the project unit. Presenting of final project. 6.
The project unit was designed to tax my abilities and allow me to demonstrate my overall skills as a competent Engineer. I kept a project log which indicated what had been completed each week and what still had to be concluded. The log provided a useful technical record of my progress throughout the project and proved invaluable when writing my project. 7. The first part involved identification of the project and the nature of the problem I was involved with. I used resources available to me for research which included my tutor, library and colleague.
The selection of the project theme came from myself and was discussed further with my fellow engineer and my tutor. It had to involve the programming of a PIC controller and prove to a board of engineers that I had sound engineering knowledge. The project had to be achievable yet challenging and appeal to a certain customer. My tutor acted as a simulated customer, in this case a restaurant/cafe owner. 8. I drew up a plan of action and allocated timescales to the process. I used a Gantt chart to develop a project schedule which gave me a pictorial representation illustrating what process was going to happen and when it would occur.
It was necessary for me to regularly review my progress and to note down any problems which I could foresee. This allowed me to come up with solutions before the problems arose. 9. I completed a requirements analysis which detailed what I would provide and when it would be completed. I was going to provide a weather sensitive cover for an outside eatery. The project would be completed within six weeks and cost no more than 100 pounds. 10. Before manufacturing of the PCB I designed the project and carried out a system overview which illustrated the inter-relationships that exist between all the aspects of the system.
I carried out the required calculations which determined the specifications of certain components. After doing so I drew up a parts list and ordered the relevant parts. 11. While awaiting the arrival of ordered stock I took charge of the software development. The circuit involved low level programming ASM and interfacing to mains driven output. I used my knowledge in PIC programming to design a program in assembly language which would allow the circuit to function properly. 12. The following stage involved the building of the hardware.
I surface mounted the components onto a PCB board and connected the relevant components. The circuit comprised of a rain sensor (water sensor) which we used as an input to drive the canopy. A number of warning devices were installed to ensure the safety of customers. These were in the form of a flashing beacon and buzzer. I installed a master reset switch which allowed the device to return back to its original position. Fitting of an analogue to digital converter was needed to convert the readings from the sensing system. I also added a comparator which allowed me to compare the read values with a predefined value.
I installed a microprocessor system to read the output of the comparator and take appropriate action depending on the read value. A manual / automatic switch was also added to determine which mode the device would operate in. The system required three voltage supplies. A single phase 240v ac supply was needed for the motor, a 5v dc supply for the analogue to digital converter and microprocessor and a 24v dc supply for the sensor and hazard indicators. 13. The next phase involved the testing of the hardware and integration of the software. I tested the programming using MPLAB software.
This software allowed me to set up a watch window to let me observe the relevant outputs and toggling inputs. By manipulating inputs to the PIC I was able to see the program running correctly. A few minor problems such as short circuiting and dry joints occurred during assembly of the system. These problems were quickly overcome by re-soldering the connections. 14. The concluding part of the project was the final presentation. I presented the system in front of a group of engineering tutors. I used MS power point to present my drawings and schematics.
I displayed my findings and described how the system operated. After doing so I presented a demonstration of the circuit and proved that it was in correct working order. This fulfilled the objectives set to obtain the credit towards my Higher Diploma. Summary 15. The design, assembly and testing of the system met all the environmental protection and safety standards. I managed to calculate, estimate and select the appropriate materials used in the design of this project. The project proved a success and was merited by my tutor. All goals and requirements needed for the unit were met and completed successfully.
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