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Reconfigurable and Scalable Automated Systems Projects for Manufacturing Automation and Control Education

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Automation Subjects in Manufacturing Education

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1220.1 - 22.1220.12



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Paper Authors


Sheng-Jen Hsieh Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sheng-Jen (“Tony”) Hsieh is a Professor in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He holds a joint appointment with the Department of Engineering Technology and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include engineering education, cognitive task analysis, automation, robotics and control, intelligent manufacturing system design, and micro/nano manufacturing. He is also the Director of the Rockwell Automation Laboratory at Texas A&M University, a state-of-the-art facility for education and research in the areas of automation, control, and automated system integration.

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Reconfigurable and Scalable Automated Systems Projects for Manufacturing Automation and Control EducationStudies have suggested that individuals have different learning styles. Some students are morehands-on while others are more analytic. Automation and control courses often includelaboratory exercises to provide hands-on experience. However, laboratory exercises often focuson one aspect of automation and control at a time, such as wiring or PLC programming. Neededare more comprehensive learning experiences that provide students the opportunity to integratetheir knowledge and skills in building complete systems. To achieve this goal, the authorrecently implemented semester projects in which students build small-scale automated systemsusing Fischertechnik components along with industrial programmable logic controller, relays,and motors. Students’ feedback suggests that this approach is viable and relevant to theirlearning experience and future careers. In addition, they are often proud of their finished projectsand are willing to show them at university-sponsored outreach and dissemination events. Thispaper details the implementation, execution, and contents of these projects and how they relate tothe course syllabus.

Hsieh, S. (2011, June), Reconfigurable and Scalable Automated Systems Projects for Manufacturing Automation and Control Education Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18832

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