Asee peer logo

Automation Course and Laboratory on Design and Programming of Multi-axis Industrial Machines

Download Paper |


2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Potpourri - A Mix of All Topics

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Hakan Gurocak Washington State University-Vancouver

visit author page

Prof. Gurocak is the Director of Professional and Corporate Education at Washington State University Vancouver. Previously, he served as the founding director of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University Vancouver for 18 years. His research interests include haptics, robotics and automation.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Automated machinery used in industries including packaging, assembly, textile, paper, electronics, food processing, rely on advanced motion control. These machines usually have multiple axes that need to move in coordination with high speed and precision to accomplish the task. To design such systems, engineers need to be familiar with industrial motion controllers, bring together knowledge from kinematics, control theory, dynamics, electronics, machine design and programming.

Mechanical engineering programs have developed courses and laboratories in controls and mechatronics. These courses mostly rely on specialized laboratory equipment, Lego robots, board-level electronics, interfacing and microprocessor programming. The industry expectation is more about system integration, selecting components from industrial product catalogs, calculations to match design requirements and programming of multi-axis motion controllers.

In this paper, we present a senior-level Automation course in our Mechanical Engineering program. This course was specifically designed to address the industrial expectations and has a weekly laboratory. The paper explains the course content in detail. The laboratory has several machines representing various industrial sectors. These machines were designed and built by a student team prior to the first offering of the course. Details of the machinery are explained along with the weekly laboratory exercises. Assessment results from multiple offerings of the course are also presented and discussed. This project was funded by a grant from the NSF-DUE.

Gurocak, H. (2021, July), Automation Course and Laboratory on Design and Programming of Multi-axis Industrial Machines Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36736

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015