Module ICE-4311:
Programmable Logic Controllers

Module Facts

Run by School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Iestyn Pierce

Overall aims and purpose

This unit has been designed to cover Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) concepts and their applications in engineering. A practical hands-on approach to learning with an emphasis on investigative practical work has been adopted throughout the unit. The unit initially focuses on the design characteristics and internal architecture of programmable logic control systems before examining programming techniques.

Course content

Indicative content includes:

  • Design and operational characteristics of programmable logic control systems.
  • Internal architecture of PLCs
  • Types of input and output devices.
  • Types of communication link used.
  • Logic programming techniques.
  • Testing and debugging programmes.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Equivalent to 50%. Uses key areas of theory or knowledge to meet the Learning Outcomes of the module. Is able to formulate an appropriate solution to accurately solve tasks and questions. Can identify individual aspects, but lacks an awareness of links between them and the wider contexts. Outputs can be understood, but lack structure and/or coherence.

excellent

Equivalent to the range 70%+. Assemble critically evaluated, relevent areas of knowledge and theory to constuct professional-level solutions to tasks and questions presented. Is able to cross-link themes and aspects to draw considered conclusions. Presents outputs in a cohesive, accurate, and efficient manner.

good

Equivalent to the range 60%-69%. Is able to analyse a task or problem to decide which aspects of theory and knowledge to apply. Solutions are of a workable quality, demonstrating understanding of underlying principles. Major themes can be linked appropriately but may not be able to extend this to individual aspects. Outputs are readily understood, with an appropriate structure but may lack sophistication.

Learning outcomes

  1. Construct a functioning programmable logic controller program.

  2. Analyse the design and operational characteristics of programmable logic control systems.

  3. Recognise and apply PLC programming techniques.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Written and Practical Assignment

An individual written and practical assignment will demonstrate the student’s ability to recognise appropriate programmable logic programming techniques and apply them to the production and demonstration of a functioning programmable logic controller program.

60
ESSAY Individual Written Assignment

By means of an individual written assignment students will analyse the design and operational characteristics of programmable logic control system.

40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Laboratory

12 x 2 hour laboratory

24
Lecture

24 x 1 hour lecture

24
Private study 152

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.

Subject specific skills

  • Apply underpinning concepts and ideas of engineering;
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the specialist cognate area of computer systems for controlling complex systems;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions, especially ones that include embedded microprocessors
  • Formulate and analyse requirements and practical constraints of products, processes and services, place them in an engineering context and manage their implementation;
  • Solve problems logically and systematically;
  • Assess and choose optimal methods and approaches for the specification, design, implementation and evaluation of engineering solutions.
  • Systematically review factors affecting the implementation of a project, including safety and sustainability;
  • Appreciate the importance of designing products with due regard to good laboratory practice, health and safety considerations and ethical issues.
  • Use both verbal and written communication skills to different target audiences;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with relevant subject specific and general computer software packages.
  • Problem solving strategies

Courses including this module