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Design and Development of Portable Pneumatic Trainers to Teach Basic PLC Wiring and Programming

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division


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Paper Authors


Ali Alavizadeh Purdue University Northwest

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Dr. Ali Alavizadeh is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering Technology at Purdue University, Calumet (Hammond, IN). Previously, he taught at Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne (Fort Wayne, Indiana), The George Washington University (Washington, DC), and Morehead State University (Morehead, KY) in the areas of Industrial Engineering Technology, and Engineering Management and Systems Engineering. His industrial experiences include software engineering, systems engineering and analysis, and production optimization for private, governmental, and nongovernmental organizations. His research interests include complex systems modeling and simulation and and their application in healthcare and aerospace.

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Maged Mikhail Purdue University Northwest

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Dr. Maged B.Mikhail, Assistant Professor, Mechatronics Engineering Technology Ph.D., Electrical Engineering,
Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, August 2013. Dissertation title: ”Development
of Integrated Decision Fusion Software System For Aircraft Structural Health Monitoring” M.S., Electrical
Engineering, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, May 2009. Thesis title: ”Development
of Software System for Control and Coordination of Tasks among Mobile Robot and Robotic Arm.” B.S.,
Electrical Engineering University of El Mina Cairo, Egypt, May 2001.

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This paper reports the rationale and the steps in developing a set of portable pneumatic trainers that are to be built and used in a course on fluid power. This sophomore course offered in Mechanical Engineering Technology curriculum at the University includes both lectures and lab activities on hydraulic and pneumatic systems. The vast majority of lab activities are on building various circuits and doing some measurements. However, as the program’s industrial advisors recommend, the current trend in industry emphasizes more on integrating instruments to control mechanical systems such as conveyor belts, packaging machines, etc. Previously, the authors presented two papers at ASEE conferences on the development of pneumatic lab trainers and a series of lab activities to introduce hydraulic and pneumatic circuit modeling and simulation using a software package called Automation Studio. However, to teach basic PLC programming, the course instructor would prefer to teach this concept in the classroom for which hands-on practice on wiring and programming PLC are needed. The current lab setting did not include enough space to teach PLC programing, which is the main reason to develop such trainers for classroom teaching. The paper will focus on design specifications, material and component selection. The results of a survey administered to current students will be discussed to show how these results were used to develop corresponding lab activities that address students need.

Alavizadeh, A., & Mikhail, M. (2019, June), Design and Development of Portable Pneumatic Trainers to Teach Basic PLC Wiring and Programming Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32595

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