SHE Level 2
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M2H624806
Module Leader George Cullen
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Instrumentation and Control
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Mathematics 1A (M1H323564) and Mathematics 1B (M1H323565) or equivalent.

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to provide the student with a foundation in instrumentation and control systems technology. First an understanding of control system components, such as sensors and associated instrumentation systems, actuators, and power amplifiers, will be developed, followed by a study of their integration and use in discrete and continuous control systems. The percentage of Work Based Learning for this module, as represented by the Independent Learning "Activity Type", is 67%. The percentage of Work Based Assessment for this module is 15%, which is represented by Coursework 2.


The teaching syllabus will cover the following areas: Transducers and Associated Signals: Signal and system characteristics - deterministic and random signals, periodic and aperiodic signals, properties of signals. Examples of signals obtained from transducers and their associated signal conditioning circuits. Introduction to Instrumentation and Signal Conditioning: Use of signal conditioning circuits such as Wheatstone bridge circuits, instrumentation amplifier, analogue to digital and digital to analogue converter. Description of signal conditioning circuit operation and characteristics. Pnumatics/Hydraulics : ISO1219 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. Other actuators:Electric motors; pneumatic and hydraulic cylinders; solenoids, relay components. 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. Control Systems: Open and closed loop control systems; components of control systems; control system performance characteristics. Construction of control systems using microcontrollers, computers and PLC.s Controllers : On/Off controllers; proportional, integral and differential controllers; effect of controllers on system performance. The syllabus consists of a list of topics normally covered within the module. Each topic may not be dealt with in the same detail. The syllabus consists of a list of topics normally covered within the module. Each topic may not be dealt with in the same detail.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to:INSTRUMENTATIONDescribe the principle of operation of a variety of transducers/sensors and the electrical signals obtained from transducers.Design suitable signal conditioning / instrumentation for a variety of transducers in various applications..Calculate the static characteristics of transducer / instrumentation systems, e.g linearity, hysteresis, resolution.Identify applications where transducers and their associated signal conditioning circuits are used, in particular control system applications.ACTUATORSDescribe the operation of basic actuators, e.g hydraulic/pneumatic pistons, electric motors etc, and sketch their performance characteristics.Describe the power components required to drive and control actuators e.g amplifiers, pneumatic valves etc.Describe the use of actuators in open-loop control systems. DISCRETE ( ON/OFF) CONTROLIdentify and Describe applications where simple ON/OFF control is used.Design pneumatic and hydraulic circuit diagrams using ISO1219 Fluid Power symbols for the controlled reciprocation of pneumatic/hydraulic cylinders.Describe the basic architecture, operating principles and application areas of Programmable Logic Controllers (P.L.C's).Select transducers, actuators and associated components for interfacing to Programmable Logic Controllers to create ON/OFF type closed-loop control systems, for a variety of control processes.Design Ladder Diagram Programmes to control these processes.CONTINUOUS CONTROL.Identify application areas and requirements of continuous control systems and describe the ideal operation of open and closed-loop continuous control systems.Select suitable transducers, actuators and other components for use in continuous closed loop control applications.Describe how to construct and test continuous closed-loop control systems by interfacing to P.L.C's, microcontrollers and computer systems.Calculate and describe basic control system performance characteristics, e.g. rise time , steady state error, settling time etc.Describe the use of controllers in closed-loop control systems to improve performance.Calculate three term controller settings (PID settings)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Examples of instrumentation and control systems, case studies, practical laboratory exercises and computer aided learning will be used in addition to lectures and tutorials. The students will be encouraged to reflect upon the theorectical learning within the work place and the application of newly learned concepts to the work environment. Work Based Education aims to maximise the direct and digitally mediated contact time with students by practicing teaching and learning strategies that use authentic work based scenarios and encourage action learning, enquiry based learning, problem based learning and peer learning. All these approaches aim to directly involve the students in the process of learning and to encourage sharing of learning between students. The module team will determine the level and accuracy of knowledge acquisition at key points in the delivery, inputting when necessary either directly or with the support of external experts who will add to the authenticity, the credibility and application of the education and learning to the workplace.

Indicative Reading

Programmable logic Controllers and Their Engineering Applications, Alan J Crispin, McGraw Hill, ISBN 0-07-707227-8 "Mechatronics: A Multidisciplinary Approach", W.Bolton, Pearson/Prentice Hall.2008. "Instrumentation & Control Systems", W.Bolton, Elsevier Newnes, 2004. "Measurement & Instrumentation Principles", 3rd Ed., A.S.Morris, Butterworth Heinnemann. 2001. "Principles of Measurement Systems", 4th. Ed., J.P. Bentley. Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2004. FluidSim" Pneumatics/Hydralics trial software. http// students should be able to design, construct and test, simple pneumaitic, instrumentation, Programmable Logic Control and closed-loop control systems.

Transferrable Skills

The students should be able to design, construct and test, simple pneumatic, instrumentation, Programmable Logic Control and closed-loop control systems.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 12.00
Assessment (FT) 6.00
Practicals (FT) 24.00
Independent Learning (FT) 134.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 15.00 35% Work Based Report
Exam (Exams Office) 2.00 70.00 35% Unseen - FE
Coursework 1 n/a 15.00 35% Class Test