Bachelor of Engineering Electrical & Electronic Systems Year 2, Semester 2 2008/09 External placement Final Report Word count 2864

(excluding appendices) 02 September 2009 John Montgomery

On April 22nd 2009 I began work experience with Eurolec Instrumentation Ltd., manufacturer of a range of electronic digital instruments to monitor temperature and pressure. The company also distribute a range of other instruments to measure/record different parameters to complement their own manufactured range. During this time I learned to work in a small company which operates within an ISO9001 Quality and BS8555 Environmental Management system. Following some training I obtained some practical experience whilst working in the calibration department where instruments are checked to comply with their specification and System Calibration Certificates traceable to national standards are generated to supply to customers. I was also involved in carrying out repairs when customers returned some damaged instruments.

Eurolec does business with a range of both local and international companies within “general industry, food industry, chemical / pharmaceutical, laboratory / research ... and many other sectors.”[1] Eurolec manufactures “a range of instruments, including TH / PR Series thermometers & manometers, PC Series thermometers & manometers, CS Series calibration systems, IR Series infra-red thermometers, RT161 reference

thermometer & MM / TM Series probes, BM series bench instruments, LPMV & HPMA series pressure process instruments/transducers and their repair / calibration services.”[1] Eurolec also export a selection of international instrumentation manufacturers whose instruments complement their own.


By the second week I started taking a much more hands on approach in learning about the company’s products. I was given the job of repairing and calibrating instruments that have been received from customers and distributers. In the first week I learned much about what the company does and where its market is. then writing an authorisation docket to be sent back to the customer. Owner/Manager Two administrative staff Two Technicians Solderer Three students on work placements Experience gained Before taking on this experience I had wanted to achieve certain objectives and goals which would make my time there a worthwhile and enjoyable experience. After calibrating the new infrared I helped with the assembly of them. I was then able to go through the entire process of receiving a package from a customer. 3 .Company Structure The structure of Eurolec is as follows. I think it is important to have experience in this for my future career as an engineer. marking it in the book and calibrating or possibly repairing the product. For the infrared and probe temperature sensors we used the CS 172 and CS 171 calibration sources. For the rest of that week I was taking on jobs which mostly involved calibration of sensors. On the first day I was given a tour around the place and shown how each of the instruments work. I wanted to use my knowledge acquired over the last two years when taking on tasks and apply my acquired skills to any jobs I was given.

I began working mostly on temperature sensors which included assembling them. Some of the products sold are not designed by Eurolec so repairing them could prove difficult. As I had now been doing the initial calibration of thermometers as well as the final calibration process I felt confident that I had been getting maximum experience from the placement. If we could tweak the product so that it gives a more accurate reading we did. If there are soldering mistakes. When all the components have been mounted on the PCB someone has to test the board and adjust variable resistors so that the reading is precise. They are then sent back to the customer. But for the most part when it’ was s a sensor we were not familiar with we simply tested the sensor using a calibrator at different temperatures and a reference thermometer. There is also an initial calibration process which I took on during my time there. After a number of weeks I started working on new models which are programmable using microchip software. I had been doing all the calibration by the 5th week and then putting them on the system. Calibration is much quicker and more precise on these models as it is all digital technology and doesn’t rely on a person judging the accuracy. When a Eurolec product came in for calibration we were able to completely re-adjust it so that it gave accurate readings and then the authorisation sheet and calibration certificate were sent. I then printed out the certificates and put the certificate number on each instrument. An authorisation sheet was sent back to the customer before they were charged and then a calibration certificate was sent back once we had authorisation from the customer. Instruments came back every day for repair or calibration or both. The instruments are usually calibrated three or four at a time depending on what has come in. this is when they are identified and fixed. For the most part I have been able to repair and calibrate the instrument if the problem was with the probe or if there was an obvious reason it had malfunctioned. 4 . calibrating them and often checking for damage.

data loggers and basic assembly.I became more confident in myself taking the responsibility of booking the returns in and producing calibration certificates. Overall I have stuck to the usual routine of booking in the returns. I did some work with Isis. I also tested data loggers using software on the computer. Using this software I could check information such as it’s current task. I therefore took at least three reading to ensure I made a correct recording. The infrared thermometers were also difficult to calibrate since the readings can fluctuate and readings can be quite inaccurate. I knew how to create a new device and add it to the library so I was able to add the IC7192 to an updated circuit and I used its datasheet to connect it up to an LCD display. then calibrating or repairing the instrument and producing a certificate. During my time on the placement I also took on smaller jobs aside from repair and calibration which was my main role. My supervisor walked me through some schematics and asked me to put them on Isis and by the third week I began working on more complicated circuits using Isis. leaving them for authorisation. And as a result of doing the repairs my soldering has improved significantly as I have had to keep up with the standards of the company. New cases for thermometers had to be filed down for the glass display window to fit. battery level and date last used. I put the casing on new thermometers that had just been made and calibrated.) 5 . I installed a new data logger on the computer and did a sample run of it and then recorded it on excel and simulated a graph. I had to do this every time before putting the cases together. When Calibrating some TH103TC and TH104TC type thermometers I noticed that the TH104TC models had to be adjusted at slightly different temperatures than others as their results are not very linear. I also did the wiring of new ‘Bioseb hot/cold plates’(A metal plate from the French company ‘Bioseb’ which can be heated to 65°C and cooled to -3°C. I was now able to work much more efficiently and quickly than when I first started.

calibrators. Materials used While working in Eurolec I found I became more familiar with some of the same instruments that we have worked with in the course such as soldering irons. When calibrating the thermometers they are tested at 0°C and 100°C first and pots are adjusted to reset the thermometer’s reading. This would lead to inaccurate readings. The manometer is connected up and a weight is tested on it to discover the error. We also used a reference thermometer which is inserted into the CS172 calibrator at the same time and the difference between the reference thermometer and the 6 . and the deadweight tester. I also came across new instruments and devices such as reference thermometers. It should be reading the value of the weight used. The machine is pumped so that the weight rises up putting pressure on the manometer and then a reading is taken. PCB boards. oscilloscopes and data loggers including programs applicable to them. Some of the customer’s companies are legally required to have Eurolec calibrate their instruments after a certain period of time. This gave me good practice and I learned new techniques in this area. Technical description of experience Some thermometers and manometers came in for re-calibration.Two French students arrived on their work placement which meant I had to get used to working as a team to tackle problems such as recognising why an instrument is broken and then figuring out how to solve the problem. The manometer itself it set to zero before this process as sometimes the pressure can drift and there shouldn’t be a difference between the two inputs. We calibrated pressure sensors using a deadweight tester. I was taught how to create new devices such as the IC7192 and I used the data sheet to connect this device to a multiplexed seven segment display unit. Afterwards the readings are checked at the calibration points. I also used programs such as Isis to draw up schematics.

The temperature/ Pressure sensor is rigged up to the ‘reference thermometer’ which can also simulate a temperature. Once all errors have been rectified the sensor is calibrated at 0°C. For example when testing the sensor at -18°C the room temperature must be around 16°C or else the 7 . 200°C. I did some assembly which often involved smoothing down the outer metal cases and removing paint excess of each case. When calibrating temperature sensors the temperature in the calibrator can change causing inaccurate reading if the reference thermometer isn’t continuously checked. 1000°Cfor the set point and 25°C for the gain. Solutions When I first started I knew very little about their business and so I had to take some time to get to know the company and its products. There was however plenty of work to do and I feel I compensated in some way for the members of staff that weren’t working on those days. After calibrating an instrument my next job was to put them on the system and produce an authorisation sheet. The board is then inspected further and one by one the errors are identified. The error is then put on the calibration certificate and then sent back to the customer. However most tasks that were given to me I was able to handle once I became up to speed on everything. Also the room temperature can affect the range of the calibrator. One of tasks in Eurolec was to carry out the initial calibration procedure. This is done because the customer has to give permission to repair or calibrate after a price has been established. Because of a bank holiday and my supervisor being on a holiday break for two days I lost nearly a whole normal week. If the simulated temperature is not read on the sensor it usually means that there is a soldering mistake on the circuit board. I also did the wiring of ‘Bioseb hot/cold’ plates.thermometer we’re testing is the error. Problems encountered. A pot is adjusted for the set point of 0°C and another one for the gain.

I even had to use ice packs to cool it down. For example. From my experience I am now comfortable in dealing with customers’ problems and settling into a work environment. It is always difficult to grasp theory concepts in college without knowing the practical applications of them. There could be problems if information is missing on the instrument. Conclusions. For this reason Temperature sensors are calibrated in the morning with the heating off.temperature simply won’t drop low enough. The HSE changed the standard calibration points that are used when calibrating thermometers(-18°C 5°C 25°C 75°C) meaning we had to redo the calibration of some thermometers. therefore working at Eurolec Instrumentation Ltd has been invaluable as it gave me a real life understanding of engineering applications. 8 . This can be difficult since factors like room temperature can affect the instrument’s capability. learning outcomes I found my work placement to be a unique and enjoyable experience and it should be valuable in my future career. I feel this experience has played a significant role in the course and will prove to be of great value in my future career as an engineer. I was required to solder at a professional standard when repairing and assembling devices such as thermometers and manometers belonging to various companies and service sectors. I felt that because the instruments belonged to professional international companies I took the utmost care in maintaining and repairing them. Every instrument that comes in is put on the system to keep track of it and to keep a record of that customer. Due to the new calibration points set by the HSE we had to get the CS172 to a temperature of -20°C. The work experience allowed me to further develop the practical knowledge I learned from lab work and skills classes. In order to achieve a temperature this low I had to keep the calibrator isolated in a cold room with the door closed.

This product is a popular choice for Eurolec customers. “The TH Series are very robust.”[1] Again.[1] This is one of the most common thermometers I was dealing with. this products is similar to the one above accept it is an older model. 9 .Companies’ Products “The PC TEMP Series are a professional. immersion. compact range of portable thermometers featuring Type K. It is mainly used in food preparation in kitchens of hospital and hotels to check that food has reached the correct temperature and is thoroughly cooked. Type K and type T thermocouple options are available with a variety of probes for insertion. Type T and very high accuracy PT1000 models with a variety of probes for insertion. immersion. It has tough metal case and a detachable probe however these aren’t as cost efficient to make so plastic was used instead. air and surface applications. and air and surface applications”. dry powder coat painted splashproof metal case for demanding applications. I had to often file down the cases for the glass window to fit in.

I found this instrument’s circuitry very complicated due to the complexity of the layout. electrically conductive materials or any materials that may be otherwise damaged by probe contact.“The IR Series infrared thermometers provide very fast response temperature measurement for most surfaces.” [1] These were a particularly difficult instrument to calibrate as the readings fluctuated frequently and rapidly. They require a silicone heat transfer compound when calibrating them to speed up the probe’s reaction. TM Series “A range of low cost thermometers suitable for constant monitoring of fridge/freezer temperatures” [1] This thermometer is small in size with quite slow responses however this is suitable in an environment where change in temperature is minimal. 10 . Typically infrared applications include measurement of hazardous or sterile materials. Both models feature very robust aluminium casing and splashproof surfaces.

a variety of options are available e. mains/DC options etc. HVAC.” [1] These are calibrated using the deadweight tester. RS232/USB. clean room monitoring. alarm/relay outputs.“The BM bench range features 4 models with 4 and 6 way selector switches for type T/K thermocouples and PT100/PT1000 sensors. 11 . general process maintenance and many more.g. For all models.” [1] “The PR range of differential/absolute manometers are housed in robust metal casing with splashproof surfaces and have been designed and manufactured to meet a wide range of applications including . industrial equipment monitoring.

” calibrating at temperatures -20. industrial eqipment monitoring. 0.“The PC Mano range of differential/absolute manometers are a compact. [1] As it does not have a cooling 12 . 5 and 63 degrees Celsius.” system it cannot drop below ambient temperature. [1] I used this for “The CS171 Calibrator provides a temperature calibration source for contact and non contact thermometers from +30° C to + 200° C. general process maintenance and many more. cost effective range of instruments featuring low and high range models and have been designed and manufactured to meet a wide range of applications including HVAC.” [1] “The CS172 Calibrator provides a temperature calibration source for contact and non contact thermometers from 40° C below ambient to + 75° C. clean room monitoring.

mV.2°C -0. Hz and Pulse. Error in reference thermometer -25°C -18°C 0°C 5°C 25°C 75°C 100°C 150°C 200°C -0.06°C -0.15°C -0. Rtd. Passive and Active mA loop Pressure calibrating versions available” [1] When taking a reading from the reference thermometer we always had to subtract the error from it.08°C -010°C -0.MicroCal 20 Series “Simulation & Measurement of Thermocouple. V.15°C 13 .003°C -0. mA.14°C -0.03°C -0. For example if the reading is 5°C the real value is 4.92°C as calculated using the table below.

” [1] 14 . Flexible and easy to use with ‘comsoft’ software .logged results available in graph and table form.“175 loggers The testo 175-T1 temperature data logger is ideal for the long term logging of food or other temperature sensitive goods in storage or transport. Humidity and mV / mA loggers also available. available also in 2 and 4 channel versions.

References 1. – Eurolec email address.eurolec-instruments. Tel: (042) 9333423 Fax: (042) 9331758 15 .eurolec-intstruments.Eurolec website accessed on 22/08/09 Contacts .

Appendix 1 Bachelor of Engineering. Electrical & Electronic Systems External Placement: Weekly Status Report Name: ___________________ Company: __________________ Week Ending:___________________ Progress Made in Current Week: Problems Hindering Progress: Objectives for Next Week: Student’s Signature:________________ Signature:_______________ Supervisor’s 16 .

Give them experience of structured employment in an industry relevant to their study. control and practice in the host enterprise. a designated task. management and structure in addition to the specific tasks performed by the student. including it’s products.Appendix 2 External Placement Module Title Module Level Pre-Requisites Co-Requisites Duration Credits Quantity of Learning Experience External Placement (PLCEH2023) 7 Allocation of Marks 8 weeks 10 Lecture Practical/Tutorial Directed Reading Independent Study Continuous Assessment 100 Project Practical Final Rationale External placement allows students. Give students an opportunity to source industry based projects for their final year. procedures in operation in the host enterprise. on time and to agreed specifications. To develop in the student an understanding of the organisation. Introduce the students to potential employers. Describe the importance of safety in the workplace and describe the safety. Aims The aims of this module are to: • • • • • Provide students with technical experience in a working environment. 17 . Complete. Present a comprehensive report on the company. Describe the quality assurance requirements. procedures and practices current in their industry. Intended Learning Outcomes A student completing the module should be able to: • • • • • Describe the organisation of the host company and his / her role within it. an opportunity. to gain experience in a professional technical environment.

academic staff and industry representative A confidential report by the company to the academic supervisor An ongoing assessment of the student’s performance in the Host Company – garnered from Logbook. management and structure. Weekly Reports and monthly consultation by Academic Supervisor. procedures. Industrial & Academic Supervisor Oral Presentation ……………………. on completion of the placement – to peers. including answering questions. Academic Supervisor.. Final Learning Report (portfolio) developed in pre-specified format (see Appendix 10 ). The Weekly Learning Report will assist in preparation for the final Learning Report. • • • Mark Allocation • Logbook • Weekly Learning Report & Final Learning Report (Portfolio) including Project • • Oral Presentation Performance Assessment (including company report) Total 50% 20% 20% 100% 10% Contributors to the assessment process are proposed as follows: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Item Person Responsible -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------Logbook ………………………… Industrial Supervisor Final Learning Report (Portfolio) …………… Academic Supervisor Weekly Learning Report ……………………. (The Final Learning Report will incorporate a report on a particular assignment / project undertaken.Assessment In general the assessment of work placement will be completed as follows: • • • • Completion of the general learning outcomes for the placement Logbook and Weekly Learning Report (countersigned by industrial supervisor). Course Lecturers Performance Assessment ……………… Industrial Supervisor 18 .) Oral presentation. Industrial & Academic Supervisor Project ………………………………………. as well as a description of the company’s products.

the student may be permitted to do his/her external Placement in that institute. The student will keep a log of his or her work. 5. Students will be encouraged to continue to work with the company for the remainder of the summer. Content Work that the student may be assigned to do as part of his or her External Placement includes: • Identify a problem with a product and suggest solutions. Payment. In so far as practicable the Institute will endeavour to place a student in an environment suited to their choice of elective. • Work as part of a Quality Control Team in a factory environment. 7. 19 .Learning and Teaching methods On the job training. 2. In the cases outlined in point 2 and point 3 above. • Develop a User Manual for a product. They will not be required to submit weekly or log reports after the official end of External Placement. External Placement will take place between Easter and mid-June. the Academic supervisor together with two lecturers teaching on the course will draw up precise guidelines for the work to be undertaken and for the assessment of this work. 4. The Host will appoint an External Supervisor to supervise the student’s work. The choice and location of the Host is at the discretion of the Institute and may be located anywhere in Ireland or elsewhere in Europe. 8. As part of the college’s encouragement to remain with the company over the summer. 6. The normal length of the placement will be eight weeks and will never be less than six weeks. the student will be assigned an internship under the Academic Supervisor. to students during work placement is entirely at the discretion of the host company. under supervision. safety and responsibility. such students may submit their final report and present their oral presentation in September and they will be given their assessment mark at that stage. A copy of these special work and assessment guidelines will be supplied to the External Examiner for the module. Additional Information 1. These attributes will form a critical part of the External Supervisor’s report. The student is expected to conform to the norms expected of employees of the Host Institution in respect of timekeeping. Should a host company not be available or should a placement become available in an academic institute at home or abroad that may particularly benefit an individual student. 3. • Assist. The Institute will appoint a Lecturer who teaches on the programme to supervise the students External Placement. In such an eventuality. Such students should not be at an advantage or disadvantage over the students placed in industry. while on placement. discipline. if any. in the development of a new product. External Placement will normally take place in a host company. every effort will be made to source a project from industry and get the maximum input possible from the company that will benefit from the project. In the event that neither of the above scenarios are possible. The student is expected to participate fully in the activity of the Host Institution.

For further elaboration.’ 10.” 20 . Entry for Qualification Supplement “External Placement. However.5 of this document – ‘Special Conditions Work Placement. see section 6. For additional information on External Placement see Appendix 10. A student may progress from stage 2 to stage 3 even if they have not successfully completed their External Placement.9. they will not get a final award until it is satisfactorily completed.

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