Unit 49 Computer Control of Plant


 

Unit 49:

Computer Control of Plant

 

Unit code:
M/601/1427

QCF level:
4


Credit value:
15






Aim

This unit aims to develop learners’ ability to design and use computer systems to monitor and control engineering and industrial plant.

Unit abstract

The unit introduces learners to the required programming techniques and provides knowledge of the electronic and communication systems used in modern process and manufacturing plant. Learners will develop the skills needed to modify or up-date existing distributed-intelligence systems. Extensive use will be made of computer-simulated packages and rigs to provide the learner with hands-on experience.

In learning outcome 1, learners will investigate computer control strategies for complex control systems and select appropriate strategies to meet given specifications. In learning outcome 2, learners analyse the characteristics of remote smart sensors/ devices together with their interfacing/configuration. Learning outcome 3 is concerned with plant monitoring techniques and learning outcome 4, learners will investigate and analyse a modern computer controlled system.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit a learner will:

1       Be able to select computer control strategies for a complex control system

2       Be able to select remote smart sensors/devices to meet given specification

3       Be able to select and develop programs and use machine interfaces to monitor plant operation

4       Understand the different types of data communication systems used in control and instrumentation.



Unit content

1      Be able to select computer control strategies for a complex control system

Select: to meet given specification; alternative computer control strategies; justification of choice eg easy to maintain, flexible enough to accommodate change as production needs change

Control strategy: direct-intelligent devices to share information; supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA); distributed control; manufacturing automation protocol (MAP); device configuration to given specification; programming; alarm systems; topology and maintenance considerations


2      Be able to select remote smart sensors/devices to meet given specification

Data conversion: analogue to digital conversion (ADC) and digital to analogue conversion (DAC)

Sensors: operation, characteristics and limitations of the various sensors and devices; process measurement; smart sensors; custom designed chip sensors; embedded systems; applications that include a wide range of external devices/sensors; interface/configure two different sensors/devices to the computer system


3      Be able to select and develop programs and use machine interfaces to monitor plant operation

Programming: use and development of programs for host computer/PLCs, including hierarchy of information accesses (security); solution of real control problems eg could be simulations on controlled rigs

Standard techniques: collection of data

Condition monitoring: traditional/expert systems

Commercially available displays and devices: configure display devices to a given format for operators and maintenance staff; appraisal of plant display and process mimic devices eg for applications, ergonomics; design operator interface information; acquisition of continuous data display for real time production planning and control


4      Understand the different types of data communication systems used in control and instrumentation

Communication systems A: International Standards Organisation (ISO) 7 layer model; frequency division multiplexing (FDM); time division multiplexing (TDM); multi-drop systems; bit and byte synchronisation; phase encoding; RS 232; local area networks (LANs); optical and wireless communications

Communication systems B: 4-20mA voltage/current transmitters; RS 232 transmitter; IEEE 488 bus, HART (Rosemount) system; fieldbus requirements/details in both manufacturing and process industries

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria


Learning outcomes
Assessment criteria for pass


On successful completion of
The learner can:


this unit a learner will:










LO1 Be able to select computer

1.1
identify and review alternative computer control


control strategies for a


strategies


complex control system

1.2
select and implement the appropriate strategy to meet a









specification




1.3
demonstrate that the chosen strategy is easy to





maintain and flexible enough to accommodate change





as production needs change








LO2 Be able to select remote

2.1
select appropriate sensors/devices to meet a


smart sensors/devices to


specification


meet given specification

2.2
describe the operation, characteristics and limitations of









the various sensors and devices




2.3
interface/configure two different sensors/devices to the





computer system







LO3 Be able to select and

3.1
select/develop programs to solve real control problems,


develop programs and use


these could be simulations on controlled rigs


machine interfaces to

3.2
appraise ergonomics of commercial plant displays and


monitor plant operation





process mimic devices









3.3
configure display devices to a given format for operators





and maintenance staff




3.4
acquire continuous data display for real time production





planning and control







LO4 Understand the different

4.1
explain the different types of communication used in


types of data communication


control and instrumentation systems


systems used in control and

4.2
explain the layering and structure of the ISO 7 layer


instrumentation





model









4.3
describe the use of LANs in a factory/plant environment




4.4
identify the requirements of fieldbus and explain its





protocols




4.5
describe the use of fieldbus in control network systems.








Guidance
Links

This unit may be linked to Unit 22: Programmable Logic Controllers and Unit 46: Plant and Process Control.

Essential requirements

Centres will need to provide access to computer/PLC-controlled rigs, set up to control a process, assembly line or product production.

Employer engagement and vocational contexts

Centres should liaise with local industry so that learners have access to modern industrial plant.

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