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Process Control Laboratory Experiments Using Pc With Lab View

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.809.1 - 6.809.15

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Paper Authors

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Nam Kim

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

Asession 3220

Process Control Laboratory Experiments Using LabVIEW

Nam K. Kim Department of Chemical Engineering Michigan Technological University Houghton, MI 49931


The process control laboratory course in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Tech was recently restructured to teach students how to operate cutting edge computer-based systems, and to integrate this knowledge with process control theory. The laboratory equipment, as well as the structure of the course and the lectures, were redesigned to accommodate in-line digital computer control.

Three processes reflecting the unit operations commonly found in modern chemical manufacturing plants were implemented in the restructured laboratory: a bench scale house model for temperature control, an air-pressure tank farm for relative gain analysis and decoupling, and two interacting water tanks for multiple and cascade control. To add to these three processes, the implementation for a separation process is currently being designed. These laboratory experiments have sensors (temperature, pressure, flow, and level) for data acquisition and final control elements.

Stand-alone control stations are used to govern each process. Each station has a PC with Windows NT (4.0), an Intel Pentium-II 266 PCI motherboard, 64 MB RAM, a 3.5” diskette drive, a 100 MB zip drive, a 3.2G hard disk, a high resolution monitor, and a printer. Two interface cards are installed in each computer: one for input signals and another for output signals. Interfacing, data acquisition, analysis, and presentation are carried out using the graphical programming language LabVIEW (National Instruments).

Thirteen control experiments were designed to be performed by students in the process control laboratory course using this setup. Students who have taken the course have responded positively to the course, particularly to the use of functional icons. They find graphical programming to be an attractive alternative to programming in code. The analysis and presentation of real-time dynamic data can be effectively accomplished using functional icons, which allow for simple and straightforward presentation of control concepts.

Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education

Kim, N. (2001, June), Process Control Laboratory Experiments Using Pc With Lab View Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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