News Overview

Students learn with real-world automation equipment


Phoenix Contact and Purdue University partner to educate future engineers

Middletown, Pa. — Engineering technology students at Purdue University’s Polytechnic Institute are getting hands-on automation experience, thanks to the university’s ongoing partnership with Phoenix Contact USA. Over the past several years, Phoenix Contact has donated more than $200,000 in hardware to support a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) projects at Purdue.

The latest joint effort resulted in an advanced automation and industrial networking lab for undergraduate courses. The new multi-workstation area includes Phoenix Contact’s IEC 61131 programming software, PC Worx, along with visualization software, 802.11 wireless, PROFINET networking, and distributed safety I/O. During class or when they are working on capstone projects, students can put concepts like visualization, networking, and control into practice. Students can integrate additional products via the distributed power, open I/O ports, and available mounting DIN rail. Student projects have included an automated hammer-assembly machine and an automated oven.

With Phoenix Contact’s help, Purdue has upgraded several automation labs with high-tech networking and automation equipment. The introduction to industrial automation labs’ workstations feature Phoenix Contact’s Push-in connection technology, so they hold up to the hundreds of connections and disconnections the students make each year. In their manufacturing lab, students also retrofitted an older plastic extrusion machine with Phoenix Contact controls, I/O, and visualization solutions. A current project is using Phoenix Contact field cabling to update a material handling conveyor system. Donated components also include power supplies, relays, terminal blocks, stack lights, marking devices, tools, and more.


Molly McGowan
Public Relations Specialist
(717) 944-1300 ext. 3721