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Plc Controlled Mechanical Ventilator

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

International Engineering Education I

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.997.1 - 11.997.14



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Paper Authors

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Aloysius Emig Jr. Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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Sedig Agili Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg

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

PLC Controlled Mechanical Ventilator


In this paper, the use of programmable logic controllers (PLC) for teaching purposes and student projects implementation is presented. This is demonstrated in the design and implementation of a mechanical ventilation system that can be used on respiratory patients and controlled by a PLC. The physical control and operation of the ventilator are accomplished by the PLC via analog input and output modules located within the PLC chassis. Operator adjustment, mode selection, and patient monitoring are accomplished using a personal computer running a visual basic application designed specifically for this project. The operator interface mimics the look of a traditional ventilator control chassis. A serial data connection provides the communication path between the PLC and the personal computer. Using a PLC and a computer interface (HMI) as the respirator control system has distinct advantages over traditional microprocessor control systems. These include: the operation and adjustment of the respirator can be accomplished at a location other than the location of the respirator, alarm conditions can also be determined and evaluated from a remote location, reprogramming of the system can be easily accomplished onsite should newer respiratory modes become available. Through the use of a PLC and a HMI many different applications, similar to the one presented here, can be designed and implemented. This senior capstone design project was designed and implemented by an electrical engineering technology student as part of graduation requirements.

I. Introduction

At the Bachelor of Science level, Penn State Harrisburg offers BS EE, and BS EET, degrees. The Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering provides an opportunity for students to pursue interests in electrical and electronic circuits, including digital circuits and VLSI and its fabrication, microprocessors and their applications, electromagnetics, communications, control systems, digital signal/image processing and computer vision. The BS EET program provides similar experience however; its strengths include an applied, hands-on approach and extensive laboratory experience. Through a senior capstone design project, both curricula emphasize written as well as verbal communication and a teamwork approach among students to attain a common goal.

Thus, students in automation and robotics, microcomputers, communications, and senior capstone design project courses have ample opportunities to design and implement hands-on practical applications. Currently, several students are involved in implementing practical application projects such as WI-FI security robot, auto lander, and computer numerical controller (CNC) universal milling machine.

The project presented in this paper provides an example, for use in other electrical engineering and electrical engineering technology programs, of a practical application of a PLC and computer interfacing. The concepts and skills used herein were obtained while in the study of electrical engineering technology. This paper combines various aspects of engineering principles including: PLC programming, computer programming, communications (computer interfacing),

Emig Jr., A., & Agili, S. (2006, June), Plc Controlled Mechanical Ventilator Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1353

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