• This course addresses a need for a comprehensive examination of modern control techniques found in manufacturing environments. The course will begin with evaluation of PLC’s for discrete logic control. The course will then examine PLC usage for more complex control tasks. By the time the course is complete, students will comprehend how these work, and how they can be applied.
13.2.1 Previous Topics
Adams: Wheelchair Pressure Measurement: A system will be designed and built to measure the pressure on a wheelchair seat pad over time, and log these values to a file. The data will be used to design a system that will apply and release pressure.
Afrik, T., Hedman, M., Howe, M., Jousma, T., Muckey, L., Postema, J., Thelen, J.: ASME Student Design Competition: An entry for the competition will be conceived, designs and built with the intention of entering (and winning) the 2000 ASME Student Design competition.
Agnello: Customer Counter: A counter will be designed to detect the number of visitors to an archery range. This will be done with sensors arranged to count visitors. A system will be used to count visitors during variable periods. A PLC has been proposed, but other options are worth considering.
Baksik & Vinch: SoftLogix For Control of Material Handling Via Devicenet: A Devicenet based control system for a material handling system will be designed, purchased and built. The main system will be based around an AB SoftLogix controller.
Bennett, Dunklin, Workman & Williams: Gumball Machine: A gumball will drop into a merry go round, go up an elevator, roll down a spiral track, be lifted in a bucket, bounce off a trampoline, and bounce out to be delivered.
Bernreuter: Water Heater Test System: A control system will be designed for testing water heaters. The focus of this project will be to use the alternate programming methods in the IEC-61131-3 PLC programming standard.
Bialk: Control of Conveyor: A conveyor system that was designed and build for EGR 409/367 will have controls added so that it may be controlled from a PLC. This will include the use of a divertor that may be used to sort packages based on size.
Bouwhuis: Industrial PLC Training Materials: A PLC trainer board will be developed and built. Training materials will also be developed. These will be used by a local manufacturer to train hourly employees in the use and debugging of PLCs.
Brinks: Automatic Back Gage Setting: This project will involve the evaluation of a back gage system that exists on a shearing machine. An automatic control system will be selected and implemented to allow users to control the depth setting with a keypad entry.
Brogdan: Automated House: An X-10 modem with modular units will be used to allow a central PC to control devices in a house. A user interface will be designed, along with interface software to control the devices.
Bronkema: Automated House: A unit will be designed and built to allow control of an automated house using an embedded controller. This will monitor external lights, control lights, and allow house status reporting.
Brown, Miersen, Timmer: Basketball Arcade Game: An arcade version of a basketball game will be designed to store balls, and release them for a limited game time. Within the allowed time the user will have to make as many baskets as possible, and the count will be displayed with a status light.
Bultman: Automated Spot Light: A controller for a remote spotlight will be designed and constructed to allow adjustment via remote control, or adjustment via remote control. (Note: as proposed this project is too simple)
Buter: Defect Detection System: A system will be devised to detect a non-critical screw on an automotive floor console. If a missing screw is detected, an operator console will warn an operator to take corrective actions.
Burgess, S., DeBoer, M.: PLC Control of a Welding Station: A PLC will be integrated and programmed to control all aspects of a welding station. Issues to be considered include cycle times, safety, and manual/automatic modes.
Campeau: Hanging Tab Machine: A PLC with appropriate sensors and actuators will be used to add hanging tags to medical pouches. A machine for adding the pouches had been purchased and will be used to add the tags.
Clark, Dohm, Dyer, Steinke, Valenzuela: ASME Design Competition: An entry will be developed for the ASME 2002 Student Design Competition. This will be developed within the given rules, and be working at the completion of the course
Curtis: Expansion Unit for Automatic Sprinkler Controller: A system will be designed that will ‘piggy back’ onto an existing sprinkler system. This will use the last set state to then switch on a supplemental state for the additional zones.
Davis: Screw Machine Control: A set of limit gages will be designed for a screw machine. The gages will test completed parts, and allow out of tolerance parts to be diverted. Visual basic and a PLC will be used for control.
Dejager, Friskey, Fugate: Instrumentation for Sports Medicine Research: A piece of sports equipment will be instrumented so that researchers in Physiotherapy can evaluate repeatability of motions. This will include devices for ball trajectory and club
DeJonge: Control of a Heat Stake Machine: Controls for a heat stake machine will be designed and built for a local company. This will involve the design of all electrical components, working with trades to get electrical and mechanical work done, and final programming of the machine.
DeVos, Karlesky, Kuieck: A Ground Breaking Robot: A hydraulically controlled robot will be designed and built for the ground breaking for the Keller Engineering Building. The robot will be controlled by a VR glove to allow a dignitary to guide the robot to break ground.
Duncan, Nicola, Vergas, “PLC Control of an AGV”, The chassis of an Automated Guided Vehicle has been constructed in the past. It has since been superseded by another vehicle. But, with the addition of some mechanical and electrical components, this AGV was restored to working order.
Eissa: PLC Control of Assembly Fixture: An assembly fixture that will be used by a local company to assemble machine that will uses a number of slides, pins and other actuators to assemble a panel. This project will involve the design and construction/implementation of all wiring and programming.
Emery: Stereo Amplifier Overheat Control: A basic controller will be used to monitor the temperature of a car audio amplifier. When the amplifier temperature rises too much the amplifier will be shut off, or the power output decreased. A PLC may be too expensive for this application.
Essenburg, McDaniel, Thompson, Vandenbrink: Pinball Machine Controller Retrofit: A pinbal machine will be retrofit with a PLC for control. The score display unit will also be replaced. The project involves all electrical work, programming, and an aesthetically pleasing finish.
Evans, W., VanEss, J.: Material Handling System Project: Various components for a mini manufacturing system will be designed and constructed. These functions will probably include a wood metering and cutting station, and a marble feeding station. This will complement the activities of the students in EGR 474.
Farley, T., Groeneweg, L.: Slot Car Lap Counter: A lap counter/timer will be constructed for a 1/64th scale car race track. The counter will use optical sensors to determine lap times and counter, and the results will be displayed on large LED displays.
Fett: Shifter Test Apparatus: A Labview controlled test machine will be developed that will cycle an automotive shifter. Labview will be used to make some adaptations to the test strategy and analyze the results. Final data values will be output to database files.
Frazee: SPC Testing in a Screw Machine: A screw machine has had a gauge added, but requires a diverter system for bad parts. The project involves designing and building a diverter system, and developing a control program to detect and eradicate unacceptable parts.
Frei, Meneses: Injector Control System: The system will inflate an artificial lung through a process that involves partial inflation, with pauses. A variable position valve will be used to change the flowrate as the lung fills. The system will be PLC based. More details are required soon.
Gallatin, Jousma, Karabelski: A Small Work Cell: Equipment that was originally developed in EGR 409/367 will be refit and used to construct a small workcell. The task of the cell will be to handle cans and drill holes in them.
Goosen, Hills: Carnival Game Controller: A system will be devised to watch targets that have been set up. When balls are thrown the targets will be knocked down. A score display will be used, and a winner siren will be enabled. A PLC may be too expensive an option for this project.
Grimshaw, Hupcik: Upgrade of The Keytag Maker: The keytag maker will be updated including refitting it with new sensors to detect the holes in the plastic strip, replacing the current servo control system with an Ultra 100 unit. The project will also consider the feasibility of changes to the keytag rounder.
Gutierez, Williams: Redesign and Control of Sketching Device: An existing device for doing simple sketches will be redesigned mechanically and electrically so that it may be controlled with a PLC. The final unit will use optical sensors so that it may be operated behind a window.
Hansen: Servo Driven Bumper Cutoff: An existing system uses hydraulics to cut automobile bumpers. This system will be retrofit with a servo drive cutter so that the cutting blade stroke can be adjusted as the cutting blade wears. The operator will be able to control the blade stroke using an HMI.
Hart, J., Kern, E., Maas, C.: Automatic Hose Cutter: A machine will be design and built to allow hoses to be fed variable lengths and cut automatically. A keypad will be used to set the length, and a blade will be used to cut the hose.
Hitchcock: A Table Height Cycling Test Stand: A control system will be developed and built that can cycle table height adjusters for a fixed number of cycles. The system may drive either pneumatic cylinders or motors to drive the tables. A proximity sensor will be used to mark the end of the travel. Adjustments will be included to allow the height settings to be changed without reprogramming the PLC.
Hubbard: Fermentation Control System: A control system will be devised that will observe the density in a primary fermenter using a hydrometer. When the density drops below a set point the secondary fermentation vessel will be cleansed with a bleach solution, rinsed, and then the wort in the primary will be pumped across. Floats will be used for fluid levels. A micro PLC will be used for control.
Hultman: Drag Racing Timer System: A drag racing timer system will be designed with the ‘christmas tree’ and a digital display to indicate time and speed. The system will involve the design an construction of required circuitry and software development. The system will be based on a 68HC11 microcontroller.
Johnson: PLC control of weld data quality: A system will be designed to watch signals coming from a welding station. These signals will indicate when a weld is good or bad. The PLC will use experimental parameters to determine the weld quality. An external display will be used to display information about weld quality.
Kaye: Drag Racing Christmas Tree: A simulator unit for drag racing start lights will be constructed to allow drivers to improve reaction start of a run. A mini PLC will serve as the heart of this system, and will vary the light times in accordance with the national regulations.
Klein, J.: Temperature Control Unit: A unit will be designed an built to monitor temperature and switch a fan on/off when upper/lower temperature limits are reached. The unit will be based on basic discrete electronics.
Knibbe, R.: Home Timing Unit: A clock module will be purchased and used as the core of system that will turn on room lights, fan, etc. External circuitry will be designed and built to allow the user to turn on the light independent of the clock.
Koperski, C., Powell, M., Schutter, N.: Skee Ball Machine: A machine will be designed for Skee Ball. When balls are rolled they will fall into one of four holes. While the game is active balls will be returned. Points will be totaled and displayed with an LED display. A light and siren will be turned on for a winning score.
Lamfers, A.: A PLC Based Home Security System: An Allen Bradley SLC-1504 will be used for a home security system. This will include sensors on various doors and windows, and a light and alarm that will be triggered when there is an intrusion. The alarm will have arm/disarm functions and zone control.
Langendoen, Vermaire: Golf Game: A golf game will be designed that will allow balls to hit into cups. Scores will be tabulated and output on an LED display. A switch setting will allow the user to select various game option.
Langston, S.: Programming Package for Ladder Logic Simulation: A package will be written in C to simulate ladder logic. The program could be entered in a number of forms, and it will allow the user to change inputs and observe the results.
Ljubic, Ngui, “Control of a Rhino Robot with an Allen-Bradley PLC-5”, A rhino robot was in working condition, but lacked controls. Control via a PLC and a new keypad was added to allow direct control, and program execution of movements.
Lubbers, J., Scholten, J.: Container Changer for Production Equipment: An automated tote changer will be added to a production machine (makes elbows?). This will use pneumatics to drive a new mechanism to load and unload totes from the machine.
Magee, M.: Constant Volume Reheat System: A small model with 3 rooms will be controlled for temperature, pressure and humidity. The system will use heating elements, and various control elements to adapt system behavior to compensate for different room settings and seasonal variations.
Mathews: Retrofit of a Dumpster Testing Station: An existing system is used by a local manufacturers to test dumpsters by filling them with a load, and then dumping the contents out repeatedly. The machine needs to be updated to meet new test standards. This will involve redesign of some of the mechanical and electrical systems. The program in the PLC will be updated to reflect the changes to the system.
Maschewske: Extrusion Monitoring Station: A system will be designed and build for a company to monitor an extrusion station. This will monitor process variables (how?) and then display messages on a scrolling LED screen. The project will involve the design, partial wiring and programming of the system.
McJones: Control of Automatic Tool Changer: A CNC machine tool has been fitted with an open architecture controller. This controller does not control the automatic tool changer. To get this functionality a PLC will be added to the system to control the tool changer. This will involve control of the magazine, and loading arm. The PLC will communicate with the CNC controller (via RS232?) to determine when a tool is to be changed.
McMullan, A., Mose, D.: Sprinter Timer: A timing system will be designed and built. The basic function will be to be tripped at the start line for a sprint, and stopped at the end of the distance. The elapsed time will be displayed on an LED readout.
Moelker, N.: Travelling Sprinkler Stop -A system will be designed, built and installed to monitor a moving sprinkler. When it passes a certain distance a sensor will detect this limit and close a valve on the water main. This system should include appropriate start/stop/reset buttons, along with an optical sensor to determine when the sprinkler has reached the end of travel.
Moore: Electric Wheelchair: An existing wheelchair will be refurbished and tested. Additional work will be done to add a pressure switch to ensure a rider is in the chair, and a battery low indicator.
Morrell: Vision Directed Control of a Robot: A DVT vision system will be configured and setup to control a Fanuc RJ-2 robot. The vision system will compare scenes to determine part offset. Offset and orientation vectors will be sent to the robot via an RS-232. The robot will then adapt to the location and orientation of the part. This will be a prototype system, so statistical tests of performance will be done.
Munster: Vision Control System: A proof of concept system will be developed around a vision system. The vision system will locate an object in a field of view. The location will be sent over a serial cable to direct an x-y positioning axis. An HMI will be added to allow limited user interaction, and simple reporting.
Muthucumarasamy, Porter, “PLC Programming for a Material Handling System”, A system was donated to Ryerson. The system was previously assembled, and basic programing of the PLC was done. This project completed the programming.
Nahin: Design and Construction of NC: This multi part project will begin with the design of mechanical and control system for a small NC lathe. In future course projects this will be outfitted with a control computer.
Nink & Seco: An External Keypad Based Car Door Lock: A Car door locking/unlocking system will be designed and built around an Altera based controller. This system will have a keypad mounted outside the car with a keycode to lock and unlock the driver door. When an incorrect code is entered a horn and lights will be activated.
Olthof: Train Set Controller: An automated train set controller will be designed and built. This will allow switching of tracks, coordination of lights, power switching to tracks, etc. The type of controller must be determined.
Palmbos, E.: Retrofit of House Electrical Control System: The current house uses 24Vdc to drive relays at the lights to switch 115Vac. The relays are starting to fail, and a redesign is needed. Replacement relays will be found and a rectified voltage will be used to control them.
Peterson: Bedroom Security System: An alarm system for a single room will be developed to monitor motion. Knocks will be required before entry is permitted. The system will be controlled with a Mitsubishi PLC.
Semeyn: A Carpet Cutting Machine: A controller will be added to a machine, and programmed, to pull the correct carpet length from a roll, cut it, then place the carpet on the part to be molded together.
Serebryakov: Speaker Directivity Index Measurement: A turntable arrangement will be developed to support hardware and software for measuring speaker loudness at various angles. This apparatus will use a PLC to position the table as requested.
Sham, Sutander, “PLC Control of an Automated House”, A house was developed with a number of automated systems. These allowed windows, doors etc to be opened/closed to meet changing environmental conditions. The system will also include other useful features such as a burglar alarm.
Silcox: Cat Feeder: An automate cat feeder will dispense food at regular intervals as controlled by an electromechanical timer. A sensor will stop the feeding cycle if food remains in the dish. Another sensors will be used to indicate when the food hopper is empty.
Singhal, M.: Computer Controlled Model Railroad- A three part system will be design and implemented. There will be a Visual Basic program at the front end that will allow the user to specify actions and monitor status. An RS232 connection to a Basic Stamp chip will communicate commands, and the Basic stamp chip will control the train set. Functions will include train speed, switch tracks, etc.
Smith, Tang, “Traffic Light Control for Optimal Flow”, Multiple sets of traffic lights were constructed, and controlled via a PLC. The Control programs in the PLC were such that the traffic lights adapt to nonuniform traffic flow.
Ulbikas, Chetcuti, “Upgrade of PLC controlled robot”, An existing robot that is connected to a PLC was put back in working order, and a keypad was added for direct, and programmed control of the robot.
Vanderkolk: LabVIEW Interface To Dynamometer: LabVIEW will be interfaced to a cutting force dynamometer. The cutting forces will be displayed for easy reading, and graphs of values may be written to files.
Wiersma, Stehouwer: Keytag Corner Rounder: Retrofitting for a keytag rounder will be completed so that it is fully automated. This will include a chute for incoming parts, an automate clamping mechanism, etc.
Woodard: Flooding Alarm: An alarm will be developed to detect flooding in a house in the event of power failure. This device will need to detect when the house power is off, and when water is present.
13.2.2 Possible Topics
Golf data collection system (sponsor: Prof. John Stevenson, Physical Therapy, GVSU): A method will be designed and implemented to measure the motion pattern of a golf swing. The resulting system will be used by Physiotherapy for research into sports performance.
13.2.3 Final Project Requirements
This will be similar to the poster for your senior project. See an example in the EC718 conference room if necessary. These should be neatly done. I suggest that you use “foam core” board that will support itself.
13.2.4 Proposed Topics Summer 2004
Description: An existing machine is controlled with an Allen Bradley PLC. The current controls will be replaced with GE controls. The project will involve clarifying the process logic, define fault conditions, develop wiring diagrams, programming the PLC, and interfacing to an HMI.
Description: The project involves the design, construction and testing of a PLC based unit with a variety of inputs and outputs, including pneumatic valves. The unit will be used for training and for verifying end-of-line test equipment.
Description: A set of four transfer dies are mounted in a single press. A number of proximity detectors will be used to detect parts and die position to control the cycle. An HMI will be developed to allow an operator to monitor and control the process.
Description: A mobile system will be designed and build for demonstrating motion control and construction techniques for automated systems. This will include a three axis motion control system and a variety of actuators and sensors.
The laboratory experiments will allow the student to apply the theoretical techniques learned during this and previous controls courses. While implementing the theoretical controls techniques, the students will also learn the practical aspects of modern controls technologies. The first labs will introduce the student to Programmable Logic Controllers. The final labs will focus on advanced applications and control of a small scale industrial process.
Application Notes: For our use this page will usually contain a test plan. A test plan lists the test cases needed to verify correct operation of the system. Each test case consists of a set of inputs and the corresponding outputs. A complete test plan ensures proper operation of the system in all states.