The Department of Mechanical Engineering have a wide variety of facilities where students can develop their practical experience in the field of Mechanical Engineering. The dedicated and professional staff, have developed an excellent laboratory infrastructure to provide practical exposure and experimentation covering the latest technologies. Modern multi-media instruction technologies are used to enhance presentation quality and ICT applications have been integrated into all programmes.

The programmes offered by the department include a considerable practical component. The facilities are available on a daily basis and laboratory assistants are present to assist students with their practical work. 

Below you will find a synopsis of the available laboratories:

1. AMTC Laboratory (Venue E22)

The Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centre is set up to accommodate +/- 20 students for theoretical and practical training in the following fields:

  •  Basic pneumatics  
  • Advanced pneumatics  
  • Electro pneumatics  
  • Basic hydraulics  
  • Advanced hydraulics  
  • Electro hydraulics 

Process control and automation using Siemens and Festo Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC).

2. Fluids Lab (Venue E2)

Fuids get usd most for Practical's

  • Venturi
  • Series parrallel pumps
  • Channel flow
  • Friction in the pipe lines 3. KUKA Robotics Laboratory (Venue E07) 
  • 2 x Kuka robots  
  • 2 x Motion training tables  
  • 2 x Block sets  
  • 1x Spot welding station  
  • HMI   S7-300 Programmable Logic Controller  
  • Interbus communication network 

The robot cell is used for basic and advance robotic training, for students and industry.

Basic robotic application can be used for training, but the cell is also capable of advanced robotic applications e.g. industrial spot welding, plasma cutting, 3D milling etc. Students can be trained in general robotics and specific applications e.g. Profibus, Interbus, spotwelding etc.

4. Measurement Laboratory (Venue E5)  

A joint application for funding between ACTS and VWSA/DAAD Chair led to the acquisition of an Optical coordinate measuring system and surface scanner to the value of R823 900. This mobile technology is designed to define the exact 3D position of markers and visible features and offers time effective on-site measurement for:
• Quality control of large objects, 

• Verification of jigs and fixtures and 

• Static deformation analysis 

The measuring system is used to predefine the reference markers on large or complex objects to support high accuracy digitizing using a digital scanner. It measures the coordinates for any feature of interest, especially for automotive bodies and parts and allows for:

• CAD comparison, 

• Verification of shape and position tolerances and 

• Verification of specifications from drawings, files or tables. 

The 3D coordinates of the measuring points can precisely be measured in the software, graphically visualized and compared to the CAD data. The results may be exported into standard formats or directly loaded into compatible software. A deformation module allows for the capturing of multiple load situations from an object. From the displacement of the markers and the features, the movement and the deformation of the corresponding object is defined.
The system has been commissioned in a laboratory in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the first introductory training has been completed. The equipment has also been used at VWSA for specific projects.  

5. Siemens (Venue E17) 

  • 10 X S7-300 PLC stations with full simulation interface  
  • 10 X S7-200 PLC stations with simulation interface  
  • 10 X Simatic Panels 

The Siemens laboratory is used for accredited Siemens Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) training for industry as well as control system lecturing for Electrical Engineering students.

The Siemens courses are SERV 1, SERV 2, PRO1, PRO2.

6. Thermolab (Venue E1)

The thermolab gets used for student practicals and contract work. Practicals:

  • Engine dyno testing  
  • Cooling towers  
  • Heat exchangers  
  • Calorific value of fuels  
  • Pressure measurement  
  • Dryness fraction of steam  
  • Air conditioning systems 

Contract work:

  • Engine dyno testing  
  • Calorific value of fuels  
  • Steam related tests  


The department also has fully-equipped computer laboratories with Internet and e-mail access available on a daily basis. These facilities form an integral part of project research and assignments.