Asee peer logo

Teaching Distributed Process And Manufacturing Control On Large System Trainers

Download Paper |


1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.412.1 - 1.412.8

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

James Rehg

Download Paper |

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

Session 2647

Teaching Distributed Process and Manufacturing Control On Large System Trainers

James A. Rehg The Pennsylvania State University


Manufacturers are adding automation to meet the pressure for increased productivity, quality, and production flexibility. While the automation techniques used by central Pennsylvania companies varies, they have some common elements: a high degree of distributed control and increased use of programmable logic controllers and electro-mechanical devices. In addition, many companies require technology graduates to work on applied engineering problems. As a result of the these changes, the Engineering Department at PennState University Altoona Campus added a Bachelor of Science degree in Electro-mechanical Engineering Technology (BSEMET). An automation laboratory in a new Automation Technology Center was added to support three new controls courses taught in the last year of the BSEMET program.

The development of the controls laboratory presented some unique problems. The laboratory was required to support a standard laboratory class size of 16 students while delivering laboratory training over a wide range of manufacturing control problems. A laboratory system was required that permitted eight teams of two students each to have equal access to control and operation exercises on the single large manufacturing system. At the same time the laboratory system had to support fundamental control exercises on single machines and trainers. This paper describes the development of a controls laboratory system that permits student laboratory groups the opportunity to develop unique solutions for single large system trainers in the context of the standard laboratory class size.


The PennState University Altoona Campus is one of 21 campuses in the PennState University system and a part of PennState’s School of Engineering Technology and Commonwealth Engineering (SETCE). Located in central Pennsylvania, the college provides associate and bachelor degree graduates in Engineering Technology to industries located in the city of Altoona and five rural counties. The Altoona Campus offers two ABET accredited Associate of Science degree programs in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Technology (MET/EET), and a new Bachelor of Science degree in Electro-mechanical Engineering Technology (BSEMET). The introduction of the BSEMET program was a result of changes in the engineering workforce in industry.

Changes in Industry

The genesis of the BSEMET program started from request from the industries the college serves. These central Pennsylvania industries have experienced the following changes in their manufacturing operations.

@a-’ 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings } ‘..+,~lll:’: .

Rehg, J. (1996, June), Teaching Distributed Process And Manufacturing Control On Large System Trainers Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 1996 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015