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Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

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Controls Lab

The controls lab is used to teach both the Control Systems course and the Manufacturing Systems Control course.  For the Manufacturing Systems Controls course, the lab has 12 SMC pneumatic trainer boards which teach the basics of fluid power control.  Working closely together with SMC-Canada, these Ryerson developed boards are outfitted with manual and solenoid valves, cylinders, limit switches, push buttons, switches, accumulators, AND gates, OR gates and a filter/regulator.  Students learn to design and “wire” the components together in the lab to develop their pneumatic circuits.  The lab also have 12 Omron Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) complete with a 16 port input module and a 16 port output module.  PLCs are the industry standard for controlling manufacturing systems. Incorporating a variety of switches and indicator lights, students program the PLC trainers using ladder logic, a standard PLC programming language.  In their final lab, the students must integrate the use of the PLCs and pneumatic trainer boards to perform a number of complex motions.  In the Control Systems course, the students utilize 12 state of the art Zeltom HILINK data acquisition and control board to fine tune the speed, acceleration and position of a mass varying motorized mechanism on the Ryerson PID Motion Control Demonstrator.  Applying controls theory learned in their lectures, students apply real time PID control using Matlab Real-time Windows.  By modelling the system in the Matlab software, students gain an extra layer of applied knowledge, as they put theory to real world testing.