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Dual Solenoid, Closed Loop, Position Control System

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Computer Based Measurements

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.495.1 - 10.495.10



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Paper Authors

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Narciso Macia

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Dual-Solenoid, Closed-loop, Position Control System

Narciso F. Macia, Sapto Susilo

Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology Arizona State University East


This paper presents a closed-loop, position control system, using two interconnected, DC solenoids in a pull-pull arrangement, and controlled by an Allen-Bradley, MicroLogix 1500 LRP, Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). This PLC, and similar equipment possessing A/D and D/A modules, are excellent vehicles for teaching closed-loop control, since they are easy to program and do not require a substantial background in programming. This feature makes it very attractive since our control classes and laboratories are populated by students from mechanical, manufacturing and electronic backgrounds. In addition, this particular PLC has built-in data acquisition capabilities, making it ideal for comparing theoretical responses (obtained by simulating a SIMULINK-based model) with that of the actual hardware. Further, PLCs are extremely common in industrial and manufacturing environments, and the student’s familiarity with them can serve as an added bonus in seeking employment. This paper presents the modeling, parameter estimation, and simulation procedures. The setup can also be easily modified so that it is controlled by other types of controllers (microcontroller-based, PC-based controllers such as LabVIEW. This set-up can also be used by graduate students to investigate second-order-type effects. This hardware has been effective in enhancing student understanding and retention of control system theory.


The teaching of control systems is enhanced by supplementing the lecture material with laboratory activity. The laboratory activity should reinforce the theory presented in class by providing a platform in which the theory can be applied. This paper summarizes a series of laboratory activities dealing with a closed-loop, position control system that utilizes dual DC- solenoids as the drivers, and PC as the controller. This work is an update of a similar position control system that utilized a single DC solenoid and an op-amp circuit as the controller [1].

What has prompted the changes from the previous implementation? The main one is the industry shift to use Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) rather than custom analog circuits for low-number applications. This is primarily due to: a) increase in labor costs

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Macia, N. (2005, June), Dual Solenoid, Closed Loop, Position Control System Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14948

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