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EEE8150 : Industrial Automation, PLCs and Robotics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kristopher Smith
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to give an overview of Industrial Automation and Control. to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of advanced control systems and robotics, emphasizing theoretical foundations, simulated applications, and hands-on laboratory experiences. Several industrial control methods are explored such as: PLCs, Fuzzy Control, PID Controller Design and Robotic operation.

Outline Of Syllabus

The curriculum is designed to progress from fundamental concepts to advanced applications, covering topics such as:
On-Off Control : Background to Relay-based Control Systems
Programmable Logic Controllers(PLCs) - Programming and Laboratory based design work
Modelling & Control of Linear Systems: P,PI,PID Controllers. Zeigler Nicholls Tuning Fuzzy Sets and Fuzzy Control Systems – Theory, Design and Application
Nonlinear Systems : Simple Pendulum, Inverted pendulum, Interconnected Tanks
Introduction to Robotics Control, leading to application of Denavit-Hartenberg
Access to New Robotic Laboratory (aspiring to get students in the STB Robotic Lab with newly purchased £300k UR3e Robotic Arms)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials112:0022:00Review lecture notes and after class tutorials (2hr per lecture).
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Revision for Assessment (approx. 2hr per lecture) and completion of formative assessment.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:0011 x 1hr review/tutorial/teaching
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion115:0015:00Completion of PLC Assessment (25% Module)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Assessment January (75% module)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical32:006:00MATLAB (3 x 2hr per lab)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00Practical Robotic Lab to support Lectures (class numbers /lab capacity dependent)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical32:006:00Practical PLC labs to support lectures(class numbers/lab capacity dependent)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1104:00104:00Reviewing tutorials, lectures, PLC practical and MATLAB session.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provides the core theoretical knowledge (Knowledge) [M1,M2]. The MATLAB SDL sessions are used to apply the knowledge to some practical scenarios to solidify the fundamental understanding (Application) [M5,M12]. The PLC Laboratory sessions provide an opportunity to gain practical experience and validate the ladder logic theory introduced in lectures (Application) [M5, M12]

Problem solving is introduced with the PLC Assignment requiring a deep understanding of the ladder logic PLC code/hardware to solve specific tasks (Evaluation) [M6, M12].. The Final Written Exam tests that the learning outcomes have been achieved with questioning. (Analysis & Synthesis) [M3].

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1201A75Closed Book
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M25PLC Assignment (written report 10 pages maximum)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MPractical examples and in class written assessments.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Written Exam requires knowledge of the material presented in the Lectures and MATLAB SDL sessions. The in person Written Exam requires the knowledge of applications, understanding of course content and requires explanation/solving industrial problems. Students need to pass this online summative assessment to pass the module.

The PLC Summative Assessment takes all of the PLC tutorials and requires the student to problem solve, design and evaluate the PLC controlling a real world task. The task will require a written report explaining/designing their own PLC task operation, providing a summative assessment demonstrating the PLC learning outcomes.

Formative Assessment will take place in class with practical examples and in class written assessments. Feedback solutions will be provided for these examples/assessments to gauge understand and help students prepare for summative assessments.

Reading Lists