Recognizing the necessity of upgrading facilities and curricula in manufacturing and electronics systems, a modernization committee was formed in 1996, comprised of representatives from several College departments. One of the recommended additions was a new state-of-the-art lab in assembly automation, based on open-architecture technologies. The new lab is named the Electronics Assembly & Automation Laboratory (EAAL).

This modern facility serves both education and research by bringing unique prototyping flexibility to small parts assembly (designed for small batch runs). The new lab purposefully integrates open systems architectures/devices, rather than dedicated devices with proprietary programming and control interfaces. The system is organized around reconfigurable modular components for small batch assembly of compact parts such as IC boards, or small mechanical parts.

After 10 months of design EAAL will be brought on-line during the Fall, 1997, and be fully functional in 1999. Although maintained primarily by the MFET Dept., it will serve several departments within the College and is sure to motivate interdisciplinary activities across the University.

Access is managed by an interdepartmental EAAL Committee.  Internal access to classes and research groups is governed by a set of access rules developed by the EAAL Committee. Trevor Gerber is responsible for the maintenance of EAAL software and hardware.

External access may be provided to groups interested in funding new assembly and automation methods by contacting an EAAL committee member. The lab will entertain prototyping projects from industry and government that require the testing of new assembly methods or assembly of a novel new product. The lab is not configured for commercial work in competition with industry.

The lab is always interested in donations of modern automation software and hardware. Again, contact us to apprise us of donation opportunities.

We would be happy to arrange tours for visitors from industry and government. Email/call any of the EAAL Committee members to make arrangements.

EAAL Committee
Edward Red (ME)- Chairman

Perry Carter (MET)   Mark Evans (ME)  

Barry Lunt (EET)  Richard Helps (EET)


  • Panasonic IC component tape feeders (Panasert)
  • XM robots (Seiko Robotics)
  • AMC Conveyor Systems (Automation & Modular Components)
  • Dell NT Pentium Pro Workstations
  • Profibus Cards (Synergetic)
  • Profibus I/O Modules (Wago, Inc.)
  • PLC's (PLC Direct)
  • Glue & solder dispensers (Techon Systems, Inc.)
  • Reflow oven (MannCorp)
  • Bowl feeder (Automation Devices)
  • Pneumatic actuators and tooling (Pneumatrek and SMC)
  • Vision cameras and accessories (Richardson Electronics)
  • Electronics rework station (Pace)
  • Barcode readers (Metrologic Instruments)


  • CODE (Cimetrix)
  • VisionBlox (Integral Vision)
  • SPEL Programming Interface (Seiko Robotics)
  • Fieldbus device driver (Synergetic)
  • NetObjects Fusion (NetObjects)
  • Visual Cafe Pro (Symantec)
  • Visual C++/Basic (Microsoft)


This laboratory has been funded by capital equipment grants from the University as dispersed by the College of Engineering and Technology and by substantial discounts and grants from industry. We gratefully acknowledge the University, College, and suppliers for their grants and discounts.