SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2H324731
Module Leader Alan Nesbitt
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject SCEBE - School Office
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Circuit Theory and Analysis

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to provide the student with a foundation in the principles of discrete and continuous control systems. First an understanding of control systems will be developed, followed by a study of the performance characteristics of control systems.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: DISCRETE CONTROL SYSTEMS Pneumatics: BSI Fluid Power symbols of pneumatic units and components; functions of pneumatic components; fields of application of pneumatic systems; design of pneumatic circuits; construction of pneumatic circuits; locked signals and use of cascade valves; design of cascade systems. Electro-Pneumatics: Relays; limit micro-switches; solenoids; relay circuits to provide AND, OR and LATCH functions, ladder diagrams; controlled reciprocation of pneumatic cylinders using relays; micro-switches and solenoids. Programmable Logic Controllers: Block diagram representation of PLC architecture, inputs and outputs; ladder diagrams for given control situations; PLC programming from ladder diagrams; testing PLC programs; motion control/timing diagrams. Transducers and Instrumentation: Description of displacement strain, temperature, pressure, flow and acceleration transducers; static and dynamic transducer performance characteristics; transducer selection for given applications. Actuators: Electric motors; pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders; actuator characteristics. CONTINUOUS CONTROL SYSTEMS Control Systems: Open and closed loop control systems; components of control systems; control system response. Controllers: On/Off controllers; proportional, integral and differential controllers; effect of controllers `on system performance.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:1. Design pneumatic circuit diagrams using BSI Fluid Power symbols for the controlled reciprocation of single and double acting cylinders (AM1, AM4, & AM5).2. Design electro pneumatic circuit diagrams for industrial applications using various electro pneumatic components (AM1, AM4 & AM5).3. Develop ladder diagrams applicable to Programmable Logic Controllers and illustrate with suitable applications (AM1, AM4, AM5).4. Describe the operation of transducers for sensing displacement, strain, temperature, pressure, flow and acceleration (AM1).5. Describe the operation of basic actuators and sketch their performance characteristics (AM1, AM5).6. Identify the requirements of continuous control systems and describe the ideal operation of open and closed-loop control systems (AM1).7. Develop the concept of transfer function and analyse the response of continuous control systems (AM1, AM5). 8. Describe the underlying principle of controllers in closed-loop control systems with suitable applications (AM1).

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Examples of discrete and continuous control systems, case studies, practical laboratory exercises and computer aided learning will be used in addition to lectures and tutorials. Independent learning will be encouraged to satisfy the student's particular interests

Indicative Reading

W Bolton. (2008) Mechatronics: A multidisciplinary Approach, 4 th Edition, Pearson Education, Prentice Hall, Canada.

Transferrable Skills

The students should be able to design, construct and test, pneumatic, instrumentation, Programmable Logic Control systems. The student should also understand the operating principles of continuous closed-loop control systems.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 100.00
Practicals (FT) 28.00
Lectures (FT) 56.00
Assessment (FT) 16.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Exam (School) 1.50 20.00 35% Mid-Term Test - Unseen written examination-1½ Hours
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 50.00 45% Final Examination - Unseen written examination-2 Hours
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 35% Lab report of 1500 words