ELECTRONICS FOR AUTOMATION

Teachers: 
Credits: 
6
Year of erogation: 
2021/2022
Unit Coordinator: 
Disciplinary Sector: 
Electronics
Semester: 
Second semester
Year of study: 
2
Language of instruction: 

Italian

Learning outcomes of the course unit

1. Knowledge and understanding.The 'Electronics for Automation' course (48h-6 CFU) offers a broad knowledge of the electronic technologists used for the construction of modern automation systems.
During the course, the main features, the architectures, the most used HW components will be studied.
In particular, content will be offered on:
- Context of the Automation Systems
- Subdivision into sub-systems of an Automation System
- Design flow
- Hw / Sw partitioning, namely the division of the main functions between dedicated circuits and firmware for microprocessors
- Knowledge of the main communication protocols used in the Automation System

2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding.
The aim of the course is to provide the tools for understanding and evaluating Automation Systems.
Part of the course will be dedicated to design and simulation activities.

In particular, the student must acquire the following skills:
- define the technical specifications necessary for the realization of a project (I / O signals, processing elements, HW / SW partitioning)
- simulate, implement and test an Automation System system through the use of suitable sotware

3. Transversal skills.
During design activities, students are invited to work in small groups.
This facilitates students' development of transversal skills.
They must learn to confront, to solve problems by collaborating, to help each other in complex debugging activities.
They must also cooperate in writing the descriptive report of the final project.

Course contents summary

The course offers an introduction to industrial automation, and to the peculiarities of both programmable and dedicated electronic automation systems.
In addition, the electronic devices that are the basis of the most common and automation systems will be presented, with particular reference to systems design/programming techniques.
Some examples of application sectors and cases of interest will be presented.
Content will be provided on the topic of Industrial Automation 4.0, relating to communication protocols, cloud computing, technologies for IoT with particular reference to the topic of security.
At the conclusion of the course, few practical design activities related to electronic systems for automation will be provided.

Course contents

Introduction to industrial automation:
- Introduction to the course
- Architecture of an electronic system for automation and historical notes
- Technological solutions: programmable systems and dedicated systems
- Safety and Reliability of electronic systems for Automation
- PLC based automation systems - technologies and examples
- Programming methods, optimizations, evolutions
- SE-based automation systems
- uP, uC, DSP and FPGA SoC systems
- Hardware / Software Co-Design and Hw-Sw partitioning
- Application sectors and cases of interest:
End-of-line quality control
Product sorters
Smart / expert vision

Industrial Automation 4.0:
- Board level communication protocols: I2C, SPI, RS232, RS485
- Field level communication protocols: CANBus
- Network level communication protocols: IP suite
- Technologies for the IoT
- Cloud and Edge Computing
- M2M applications
- Notes on transmission security (Encryption and Authentication)
- Notes on Real Time Operating Systems
- The concept of SCADA

DESIGN ACTIVITIES:
The practical design activities related to electronic systems for automation will be carried out on the computer with appropriate modeling, simulation and implementation software.

Recommended readings

- Designing Embedded Hardware, 2nd edition; John Catsoulis; O'Reilly Media

- Embedded System Design: A Unified Hardware/Software Approach; Frank Vahid and Tony Givargis;

Teaching methods

The course, carried out online in synchronous mode (with the possibility of accessing the recording of the lesson for a week), is divided into theoretical lectures and design activities.
The lectures will address issues related to the theoretical knowledge of Automation Systems.
In the design activities you will develop knowledge related to:
- development of dedicated digital circuits described using Verilog language
- writing firmware code for microprocessor in C language
Working methods:
- the design activities are aimed at the realization of a practical project
- students can work on the assigned project individually or in small groups
- each project must be described by a written report

Assessment methods and criteria

- During the course some exercises will be assigned to be carried out in hours of individual study.
- At the end of the course there will be an oral exam in which the knowledge of the theoretical topics studied in class will be discussed and evaluated in depth.
- The examination will be completed by a project and implementation activity of an exercise relating to the development of an Automation System carried out alone or with a small work group. The project will be discussed with the teacher after the presentation of a technical report.
The final evaluation will be given by a weighted evaluation of all the tests listed above.

Other informations

Teaching material and further information can be found on the university portal dedicated to teaching: ELLY