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Using Programmable Logic Controllers For An Interdisciplinary Oriented Instrumentation Laboratory

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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

1.514.1 - 1.514.6

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Paper Authors

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L. F. Borjón

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L. M. Martínez

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K. A. Córdova

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J. L. Hernández

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A. Lozano

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

Session 2659

Using Programmable Logic Controllers for an interdisciplinary oriented Instrumentation Laboratory

L. F. Borjón, L. M. Martínez, K. A. Córdova, J. L. Hernández and A. Lozano Division of Science and Engineering. Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico city

Abstract --- This project describes the efforts towards developing an interdisciplinary laboratory to reinforce hands-on experience of engineering students. The laboratory is based on the Allen-Bradley's® (AB) SLC-500 family; combining them with resources that are typically found at an Electronic Engineering (EE) laboratory. Such devices are used on programmed practical assignments and applied for teaching Instrumentation Engineering concepts. The project is implemented on a junior Bachelors course for Biomedical and Electronic Engineering students, having a good acceptance level.


The Electronic Engineering BSc. program at Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico has a population of 330 students and is focused on Networks, Telecommunications and Instrumentation and Control Engineering. It is a traditional five year program oriented toward a systems approach. For this reason, Instrumentation plays an important role at the EE curricula. One of the main concerns is to educate students on solving real problems; however cost and space problems are found when dealing with an industrial approach such as the required by industrial instrumentation. Nevertheless a special effort has been done towards developing an Instrumentation and Control laboratory based on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). This kind of controllers have an important part on automation, that may result on solving productivity and quality issues at a particular industry.


Previous efforts have been documented in the past proving the feasibility of the project1,2. In this case it is an objective to achieve the involvement of different engineering disciplines in order to obtain a broader experience of students and faculty3 as well as a cost-effective approach. The objective is to teach industrial instrumentation concepts to Electronic and Biomedical Engineering students on the first stage. Later to incorporate Mechanical, Industrial and Chemical Engineering students. The main concepts to emphasize are Instrumentation parameters, system design techniques, modeling, emulation, PLCs control architecture, data acquisition systems, sensors and man-machine interfaces (MMIs). This is done through practicals that have been designed for this purpose4 and that will be commented later.

One of the main concerns is cost and space, for this reason and in order to involve Mechanical, Industrial

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Borjón, L. F., & Martínez, L. M., & Córdova, K. A., & Hernández, J. L., & Lozano, A. (1996, June), Using Programmable Logic Controllers For An Interdisciplinary Oriented Instrumentation Laboratory Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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