Unit Name

PROGRAMMABLE LOGIC CONTROLLERS

Unit Code

ME502

Unit Duration

12 weeks

Award

Graduate Diploma of Engineering (Industrial Automation) Duration: 1 year

Master of Engineering (Industrial Automation) Duration: 2 years

Year Level

1st

Unit Creator/Reviewer

Dr. Steve Mackay

Core/Elective

Core

Pre/Co-requisites

None

Credit Points

3

Grad Dip total course credit points = 24 (3 credits x 8 (units))

Masters total course credit points = 48

(3 credits x 12 (units) + 12 credits (Thesis))

Mode of Delivery

On-Campus or Online

Unit Workload

10 hours per week: Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial Lecture - 1 hours

Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

This subject provides the fundamentals of programmable controllers used in industrial automation. The subject covers in-depth principles of operation of programmable controllers, networking, distributed controllers, and programming control strategies. Students will undertake project work to design an industrial process automation solution.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject/unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Evaluate and select programmable controllers and associated hardware equipment for a process control application.

    Bloom’s Level 6

  2. Develop control programs for a process application and troubleshoot.

    Bloom’s Level 5

  3. Evaluate and select programmable controller hardware, software and control program techniques for complex control applications such as high speed control, machine vision, safe and reliable (redundancy) control.

    Bloom’s Level 6

  4. Examine program optimisation techniques to address hardware and software limitations, use of high level programming languages, and programming specialised intelligent expansion modules.

    Bloom’s Level 6

  5. Evaluate and select communication architecture for process control applications.

    Bloom’s Level 6

  6. Design and specify safety control systems for an industrial process control application.

Bloom’s Level 5

Bloom’s Taxonomy

The cognitive domain levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

Bloom’s Level

Bloom’s Category

Description

1

Knowledge

Recall, define and list facts, concepts, methods, terminologies, theories and structures.

2

Comprehension

Demonstrate understanding by comparing, organizing, describing, translating, interpreting, paraphrasing, explaining and distinguishing.

3

Application

Use knowledge to solve problems, identify connections and show relationships, in context.

4

Analysis

Examine information, breakdown a problem, determine relationships and causes, make inferences, classify and infer from evidence.

5

Synthesis

Produce a pattern from relationships, propose operations, formulate a design, compose a hypothesis, reassemble information, construct, plan, invent, predict and create.

6

Evaluation

Make judgements based on evidence and external criteria, determine best practice, optimise, validate ideas, judge and critique, assess, valuate and make recommendations.

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements of Competency

1.

Knowledge and Skill Base

1.1

Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.

1.2

Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.

1.3

In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.

1.4

Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.

1.5

Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.

1.6

Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.

2.

Engineering Application Ability

2.1

Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.

2.2

Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.

2.3

Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.

2.4

Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.

3.

Professional and Personal Attributes

3.1

Ethical conduct and professional accountability.

3.2

Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.

3.3

Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanour.

3.4

Professional use and management of information.

3.5

Orderly management of self, and professional conduct.

3.6

Effective team membership and team leadership.

Graduate Attributes

Successfully completing this Unit will contribute to the recognition of attainment of the following graduate attributes aligned to the AQF Level 9 criteria, Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer and the Washington Accord and the Program Level Outcomes (PLO):

Graduate Attributes / Program Level Outcomes (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, Professional and Personal Development)

EA Stage 1 Competencies

Learning Outcomes

A. Effective Communication (PLO 1)

A1. Cognitive and technical skills to investigate, analyse and organise information and ideas and to communicate those ideas clearly and fluently, in both written and spoken forms appropriate to the audience.

2.2, 3.2

2, 3, 4, 6

A2. Ability to professionally manage oneself, teams, information and projects and engage effectively and appropriately across a diverse range of international cultures in leadership, team and individual roles.

2.4, 3.2, 3.4,

3.5, 3.6

2, 6

B. Critical Judgement (PLO 2)

B1. Ability to critically analyse and evaluate complex information and theoretical concepts.

1.1, 1.2, 1.3,

2.1

4

B2. Ability to creatively, proactively and innovatively apply theoretical concepts, knowledge and approaches with a high level of accountability, in an engineering context.

1.5, 2.1, 3.3,

3.4

1, 6

C. Design and Problem Solving Skills (PLO 3)

C1. Cognitive skills to synthesise, evaluate and use information from a broad range of sources to effectively identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.

1.5, 2.1, 2.3

3, 4

C2. Technical and communication skills to design complex systems and solutions in line with developments in engineering professional practice.

2.2, 2.3

3, 4, 6

C3. Comprehension of the role of technology in society and identified issues in applying engineering technology ethics and impacts; economic; social; environmental and sustainability.

1.5, 1.6, 3.1

1, 2

D. Science and Engineering Fundamentals (PLO 4)

D1. Breadth and depth of mathematics, science, computer technology and specialist engineering knowledge and understanding of future developments.

1.1, 1.2, 1.3,

1.4

1, 3, 4

D2. Knowledge of ethical standards in relation to professional engineering practice and research.

1.6, 3.1, 3.5

1, 6

D3. Knowledge of international perspectives in engineering and ability to apply various national and International Standards.

1.5, 1.6, 2.4,

3.4

3, 5, 6

E. Information and Research Skills (PLO 5)

E1. Application of advanced research and planning skills to engineering projects.

1.4, 2.4, 3.6

1, 3, 6

E2. Knowledge of research principles and methods in an engineering context.

1.4, 1.6

1, 3

Unit Content and Learning Outcomes to Program Level Outcomes (PLO) via Bloom’s Taxonomy Level

This table details the mapping of the unit content and unit learning outcomes to the PLOs and graduate attributes at the corresponding Bloom’s Taxonomy level, specified by the number in the table.

 

Integrated Specification /

Program Learning Outcomes

PLO 1

PLO 2

PLO 3

PLO 4

PLO 5

Unit Learning Outcomes

LO1

-

6

6

6

6

LO2

5

-

5

-

-

LO3

6

-

6

5

6

LO4

6

6

6

6

-

LO5

-

-

-

6

-

LO6

5

5

5

5

5

Unit Study

Assessments

6

6

6

6

6

Lectures/Tutorials

6

6

6

6

6

 

Max Bloom’s level

6

6

6

6

6

Total PLO coverage

6

5

7

7

5

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic) Examination (specify length and format))

When assessed (e.g. Week 5)

Weighting (% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assignment 1

Type: Report / Group work / Short answer questions / Case study

Example topics: Short answer questions demonstrating deep understanding of body of knowledge on programmable controllers and programming control applications.

Week 5

20%

1,2

Assignment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Role Play / Self-Assessment / Presentation

Example topics: Short answer questions demonstrating use of PLC program packages and languages via application to typical control applications. 2 hours

Week 9

20%

3, 4

Assignment 3

Type: Report / Research / Paper / Case Study / Site Visit / Problem analysis / Project / Professional recommendation

Example topics: (Project) Design hardware and software programmable controller algorithm for a given process application.

(Student will simulate and troubleshoot the program, demonstrate the program to facilitator and submit a report of 3000 words excluding figures, tables and program listing) 2 weeks

Final Week

40%

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

6

Practical Participation

Example: May be in the form of quizzes, class tests, practical assessments, remote labs, simulation software or case studies

Continuous

15%

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

6

Attendance

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous

5%

1, 2, 3, 4, 5,

6

Prescribed and recommended readings

Required textbook

  • D. Patil, (2013) Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) for Automation and Process Control, Rev. 4.1, IDC Technologies

  • Bolton, W., (2006) Programmable Logic Controllers, 5th. Edition, Elsevier Publication, Sydney ISBN: 13:978-856177511

    Recommended textbooks

  • Bryan, L. A., Bryan, E.A., (1997) Programmable Controllers – Theory and Implementation, 2nd edition, Industrial Text Company Publication, USA ISBN 0-944107-32-X

  • Kelvin T. Erickson (2011) Programmable Logic Controllers: An Emphasis on Design and Application ISBN: 978-0976625926

  • MacDonald, D., 2004, Practical Machinery Safety: Elsevier – ISBN: 9780750662703

    Reference Materials

    Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures). Some examples are listed below.

  • International journal of information and computer science

  • Examples include but not limited to IEEE publications, International Journal of Automation and Control. These are peer-reviewed journals. Other relevant peer-reviewed journals will be advised.

  • IDC notes and Reference texts as advised.

  • Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content:

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of part-time 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.

Topics 1 and 2

Introduction to programmable controllers

  1. Programmable controllers and their applications

  2. Principles of operation of a controller

  3. Components of a programmable controller system

  4. Discrete input/output systems

  5. Analogue input/output systems

  6. Special function input/output systems

Topics 3, 4 and 5

Controller programming

  1. Programming languages and standards

  2. Controller functions and advanced programming functions

  3. Control strategy, planning and designing control programs

  4. System programming, implementation and documentation

  5. Programming and troubleshooting

  6. Programming for special function input/output modules

Topic 6

Programmable controller Implementation in the real world

  1. Primary loop control and interlocking

  2. Field devices, communication networks, interfacing to enterprise systems

  3. Distributed control systems and configurations

  4. Reliability issues, cost issues, program and data backup

  5. Power supply requirements

Topic 7

Special function I/O and intelligent peripheral devices

  1. Fast response input/output and timer/counter/encoder modules

  2. Stepper motor control and machine vision control

  3. Future trends on smart instruments

  4. Highway Addressable Remote Transducer (HART)

  5. ASCII and intelligent communications devices

Topic 8

Advanced programming

  1. Program optimisation needs and techniques of implementing optimisation

  2. Programmable automations controllers, soft programmable controllers

  3. High level language programming, simulation and modelling

  4. Programming special function modules

Topic 9

Communication networks

  1. Common industrial protocols

  2. Future trends in industrial data communications

  3. Field bus

  4. Communication network design and implementation

Topic 10

Programmable controller installation – good practices

  1. Controller system layout

  2. Power requirements and safety circuits

  3. Noise, heat and voltage considerations (Input/output wiring, power supplies and industrial control panel layouts)

  4. Control room requirements

  5. Start-up procedures and commissioning a control system

  6. System maintenance and troubleshooting

Topic 11

Safety programmable controller systems

  1. Introduction to safety PLCs

  2. Architectures of Safety PLCs

  3. Characteristics of Safety PLCs

  4. Hardware and software characteristics of safety PLCs

  5. Redundant architectures for high reliability

  6. Application Software for Safety PLC

Topic 12

Project and Course Review

In the final week students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work, to clarify any outstanding issues, and to work on finalising the major assessment report.

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is dedicated to ensuring our students receive a world-class education and gain skills they can immediately implement in the workplace upon graduation. Our staff members uphold our ethos of honesty and integrity, and we stand by our word because it is our bond. Our students are also expected to carry this attitude throughout their time at our institute, and into their careers.