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Developing PLC-based Pneumatic Lab Activities for an Undergraduate Course on Fluid Power

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Instrumentation Division Technical Session 2

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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 systems engineering, and their application in aerospace, emergency response, and healthcare.

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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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Fluid power is a sophomore course offered in Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) at the University. The course includes a lecture section and a lab section that is offered every semester. The lab section includes hydraulic and pneumatic lab activities with the latter being recently developed. However, the pneumatic lab activities are based on prescribed instructions for students to build a circuit and manually operate it to observe certain behavior. With an increase of automation technology applications in industry, students should be able to build and run pneumatic circuits automatically.

This paper reports the results of developing pneumatic lab activities that include the design, simulation, and testing such circuits using Automation Studio software and Programmable Logic Control (PLC). This serves as the first phase of a two-phase study with the ultimate goal of collecting and incorporating students’ feedback on these newly-developed lab activities for course improvement. The paper will also include samples of lab activities, questions for students, and topics that should be covered in the lecture section of the course. The latter is of particular importance sine the course is traditionally for MET students who may not have a prior knowledge on PLC.

Alavizadeh, A., & Mikhail, M. (2018, June), Developing PLC-based Pneumatic Lab Activities for an Undergraduate Course on Fluid Power Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30309

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