Professional Certificate of Competency in Industrial Automation Engineering

Course Overview

CIA

The dependence on human skills in performing a task is fast diminishing with automation taking centre stage in all processes of life. Industrial activity has embraced automation to such an extent that only supervisory skills are required. But the design, building and testing of such systems still rest with us. Hence this treatise.

An in-depth knowledge of various systems and elements used in the automation of industrial processes will be dealt with in this Certificate in Industrial Automation course. Troubleshooting, safety procedures and design of systems are also attempted. The knowledge gained through this course will increase the confidence to handle automation and associated engineering. This will also help in career building and create demand for budding technicians, who are willing to multitask. By automating we:

  • Reduce downtime
  • Increase productivity
  • Reduce energy consumption and costs
  • Enhance safety
  • Minimize human errors
  • Simplify maintenance procedures
  • Improve quality
  • Increase and improve the repeatability of processes

At a glance

Duration
  • 3 Months
Study Mode
  • Online
Fees
Location
  • Online
Intakes
15 November 2022
Course Type
  • Professional Certificate

Course Details

In the days gone by, engineering was the forte of the specialists say a mechanical or an electrical engineer. As long as the process was human centric, this division in work culture was fine. Then the age of automation dawned and this meant multiple people got involved in the activity. This proved costly and unnecessary, as people acquired skills in several areas and subjects. They became versatile in controlling processes, by integrating mechanical, electronics, electrical, instrumentation and several specialized areas of learning such as hydraulics, pneumatics, embedded systems and so on.

These were the first multitasking engineers and technicians, who could wield the spanners and the multi-meter with equal ease and dexterity. Thus was born the automation technician and this field has broadened to such an extent that they have taken automation to levels never dreamt of, even about say a quarter of a century ago.

This course attempts at introducing the concepts and situations frequently encountered by automation engineers and technicians and gives a learning on the various theoretical and practical aspects of automation in industry.

Module 1: Introduction

  • History of automation
  • Need for automation
  • Simple automatic systems
  • Basic elements
  • Types of automation
  • Basic measurements and data acquisition
  • Introduction to PLC, SCADA and DCS
  • Process block diagrams and system requirements

Module 2: Control Systems

  • Introduction and need
  • On/off control
  • Open loop
  • Closed loop
  • PLC
  • SCADA
  • Hardware and software

Module 3: Process Control

  • Introduction to control engineering
  • Modelling
  • PID control and tuning
  • Ziegler–Nichols methods
  • Time delay systems
  • Sequence controls
  • Components in process control systems
  • Industrial case studies

Module 4: Instrumentation

  • Basic measurements
  • Element symbols
  • Types of measurements
  • Control valves
  • Transducers
  • Sensors, actuators, meters and transmitters

Module 5: Mechanical Systems – Hydraulics & Pneumatics

  • Introduction
  • Symbols (both hydraulic and pneumatic)
  • Pumps and air compressors
  • Hydraulic and pneumatic valves
  • Heat exchangers and FRPs
  • Hydro-motors and cylinders (both hydraulic and pneumatic)
  • Design/troubleshoot hydraulic and pneumatic circuits/problems

Module 6: Electrical Systems

  • Introduction
  • Power sources
  • AC and DC drives
  • Limit switches
  • Proximity switches
  • Relays and contactors
  • Variable speed drives

Module 7: Electronic Systems

  • Introduction
  • Active and passive elements
  • Logic circuits and gates
  • Transistors
  • Integrated circuit chips
  • FET and MOSFET
  • Embedded systems
  • Feedback systems

Module 8: Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

  • Need
  • Types
  • Input /output devices
  • Control systems
  • Display units
  • HMI
  • UPS
  • Remote terminal units (RTU)
  • Basic programming

Module 9: SCADA and DCS

  • Introduction and basic objectives
  • Architecture – Hardware and software
  • Components
  • Types
  • SCADA programming
  • Applications of SCADA and DCS

Module 10: Safety and Reliability

  • Need for safety in automation
  • Risk assessment and components for safety
  • In-built design for safety and reliability of various components
  • Role of automation in safety systems
  • Functional ISO safety standards
  • CIP safety
  • Training in machinery safety

Module 11: Networking

  • Basics
  • Industrial networks topology
  • Ethernet
  • Internet of things – working, applications, cloud, edge computing etc.
  • Threats and vulnerabilities
  • Types
  • Security systems and encryption

Module 12: Cyber Physical Systems

  • Introduction
  • Industry 4.0
  • Robotics
  • Industrial automation use cases
    • a) Pharmaceuticals, b) Material handling
    • c) Steel mills, d) Plastics processing
    • e) Packaging, f) Printing, g) 3-D printing
    • Design/build simple automatic circuits using basic elements.
  • Simulate their working by constructing models for the above.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to appreciate the role of automation to boost productivity with greater degree of reliability, repeatability and efficiency. Students will be able to design/troubleshoot simple electrical, electronic, manufacturing, hydraulic and pneumatic circuits/problems. He/she will be able to decide on operating sequences and make schematic operating methods for different industrial control systems, machineries and processes. Students will also be able to decide if a process qualifies for automation by analyzing the requirements of the manufacturing methods and processing. This forms the basis for further advanced study and research in the field of automation.

To obtain a certificate of completion for EIT’s Professional Certificate of Competency course, students must achieve a 65% attendance rate at the live, online fortnightly webinars.  Detailed summaries or notes can be submitted in lieu of attendance.  In addition, students must obtain a mark of 60% in the set assignments which could take the form of written assignments and practical assignments. Students must also obtain a mark of 100% in quizzes.  If a student does not achieve the required score, they will be given an opportunity to resubmit the assignment to obtain the required score.

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Payment Methods

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Automation personnel are in great demand throughout the world.  Manufacturing, networking, transportation, safety, defense, utilities and so on are some areas where they are much sought after. Skilled people are either absorbed in such units or they can freelance their skills as automation professionals.

You are expected to spend approximately 5-8 hours per week learning the course content. This includes attending fortnightly webinars that run for about 90 minutes to facilitate class discussion and allow you to ask questions. This professional development program is delivered online and has been designed to fit around full-time work. It will take three months to complete.

Registrations are open for our upcoming intakes. Please ensure you book your place at least one week before the start date of the program.

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Hear from our students

  The delivery methodology and the information available in the e-library can’t be beaten. The other important aspect of online education is recorded lectures. You can review the tutorial and lessons on repeat when you need to understand the concept.  
M Masemola, South Africa
  What I liked most about the course and EIT is the flexibility is offered regarding education. It gave me the opportunity to study and work full-time.  
C Groenewald, South Africa
  I enjoyed interacting with students all around the world, and seeing how the principles I have learned applies to them as well.  
S Zeelie, South Africa
  My line of work requires me travel quite often. I could not attend every class due to my remote locations, but still I could recap and stay on top of the study material thanks to the recordings. Also, all the Instructors were world class.  
P Pretorius, South Africa

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