Last Updated S022019


Unit Name Automation, Measurement and Control
Unit Code BME209S
Unit Duration 1 Semester

Bachelor of Science (Engineering)

Duration 3 years    

Year Level Two
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr Vinnu Madhav / Dr. Milind Siddhpura
Core/Sub-Discipline: Sub-discipline
Pre/Co-requisites BSC104C
Credit Points


Total Course Credit Points 81 (27 x 3)

Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload (Total student workload including “contact hours” = 10 hours per week; 5 hours per week for 24 week delivery)
Pre-recordings / Lecture – 1.5 hours
Tutorial – 1.5 hours
Guided labs / Group work / Assessments – 2 hours
Personal Study recommended – 5 hours

Unit Description and General Aims

The objective in presenting this unit is to provide students with a comprehensive overview of the principles of industrial automation, measurement, and control, and to enable them to effectively apply these concepts to automation projects.

The subject matter covered in this unit will include: the fundamentals of industrial automation and control systems; the function and application of Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and related devices; Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA), Distributed Control System (DCS), and Industrial Data Communications Systems; process measurement and instrumentation concepts; the basics of loop tuning; and, control valve sizing and selection.

The topics are structured such that students will gain practical knowledge of each key concept/system individually, and then learn how these concepts/systems can be merged into an efficient control system. Students will also complete a project whereby they will be required to select and size a control valve for a given application, using standard sizing principles and equations.

The elements of an industrial control system form part of an interconnected web using Ethernet, field buses, and wireless technology. At the conclusion of this unit, students will have been imparted with the requisite knowledge to effectively navigate, harness, and synthesize the many interconnected and interdependent industrial automation technologies into an effective control environment.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Analyzes the fundamentals of industrial automation and control systems.
    Bloom's Level 4
  2. Examines the function and application of PLCs and related devices.
    Bloom's Level 4
  3. Analyzes the attributes of SCADA, DCS, and Industrial Data Communications Systems.
    Bloom's Level 4
  4. Examines the process measurement and instrumentation concepts.
    Bloom's Level 4
  5. Re-assemble the information about the basics of loop tuning.
    Bloom's Level 6
  6. Assume control valve sizing and selection.
    Bloom's Level 4

Student assessment

Assessment Type When assessed Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: Industrial automation and control system basics.

Students will complete a quiz with MCQ type answers to 30 questions to demonstrate relevant knowledge of the fundamentals governing industrial automation and control systems.

Due after Topic 3 15% 1

Assessment 2

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation

Example Topic: PLCs, SCADA, DCS, and industrial data communications.

Students will provide evidence of their grasp of the principles of PLCs, SCADA, DCS, and industrial data communication systems by responding to descriptive type questions.

Due after Topic 5 20% 2, 3

Assessment 3

Type: Multi-choice test / Group work / Short answer questions / Practical / Remote Lab / Simulation / Project / Report

Example Topic: Instrumentation, process control.

Students will demonstrate their knowledge of instrumentation and process control concepts by providing answers to short essay questions or undertake a practical exercise using Codesys software for example.

Due after Topic 9 20% 4, 5

Assessment 4

Type: Project OR Examination

Example Topic: Control valve selection and sizing, all topics.

Students will be asked to select and size a control valve for a given application, using standard sizing principles and equations or an examination with a mix of descriptive type questions, numerical problems to be completed within 3 hours.

Final Week 40% 1 to 6

Attendance / Tutorial Participation

Example: Presentation, discussion, group work, exercises, self-assessment/reflection, case study analysis, application.

Continuous 5% 1 to 6

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook

Fundamentals of Industrial Automation, IDC Technologies, Perth
Doebelin, EO 2003, Measurement Systems: Application and Design, 5th edn, McGraw Hill, ISBN-13: 978-0072922011


Beckwith, TG, Marangoni, RD & Lienhard, JH 2008, Mechanical Measurements,6th edn, Pearson Education, ISBN-13: 978-0136093763

Raghavendra, NV & Krishnamurthy, L 2013, Engineering Metrology and Measurements, 1st edn, Oxford University Press, ISBN-13: 978-0198085492

Journal, website

Peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures)

Notes and Reference Texts

Knovel library:
IDC Technologies
Other material advised during the lectures

Unit Content

Topic 1

Introduction to Industrial Automation

1. History of industrial automation
2. Industrial automation basics
3. Basic measurement and control concepts
4. Instrumentation and transducer considerations
5. P&ID symbols for instrumentation

Topic 2

Fundamentals of Control Systems

1. Basic concepts and control terminology
2. Modes of feedback control
3. Reverse or direct acting controllers
4. Open loop characterization of the process
5. Dead zone
6. The industrial process in practice

Topic 3

Introduction to PLCs

1. PLC basics
2. Components of the PLC system
3. PLC and process interaction
4. Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs)
5. Soft PLCs
6. Standard programming languages

Topic 4


1. Fundamental principles of modern SCADA systems
2. SCADA hardware and software
3. Remote terminal units
4. Operator panels
5. DCSs

Topic 5

Industrial Data Communications

1. OSI model
2. Serial communications (RS-232/RS-485)
3. Industrial Ethernet and TCP/IP
4. Field buses (DeviceNet, Profibus, Foundation Fieldbus H1)
5. Industrial wireless
6. Industrial network security
7. OPC

Topics 6 and 7


1. Introduction to process measurement
2. Pressure measurement
3. Level measurement
4. Temperature measurement
5. Flow measurement
6. Process considerations
7. System integration
8. Conversion between analogue values and SCADA displayed values
9. Effects of filtering
10. Aliasing and too low scan rates

Topics 8 and 9

Process Control and Business Systems

1. Basic definitions and terms used in process control
2. Process dynamics and time constants
3. PID control
4. Cascade control
5. Implementation of control
6. Fundamentals of loop tuning
7. Tuning rules
a. Ziegler Nichols open loop tuning
b. Ziegler Nichols closed loop tuning
c. Trial & error tuning
8. Tuning of valves
9. Simple tuning of more complex systems
10. Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)
11. S88 batch language
12. System integration models and concepts
13. S95 standard

Topics 10 and 11

Control Valves

1. Control valve principles
2. Different types of control valves
3. Control valve characteristics
4. Selecting right type of control valve for given application
5. High pressure drop applications
6. Actuators
7. Positioners
8. Materials
9. Installation and maintenance
10. Control valve sizing:
a. Manually
b. With software

Topic 12

Unit Review

In the final week, students will have an opportunity to review the contents covered so far. Opportunity will be provided for a review of student work and to clarify any outstanding issues. Instructors/facilitators may choose to cover a specialized topic if applicable to that cohort.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: MATLAB

  • Version: R2018b

  • Instructions:  N/A

  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A