MECH ENG 7071 - Mechatronics II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2014

This course will equip students with the necessary knowledge to programmable logic controller (PLC) technology to solve problems related to mechatronic systems. PLC is a robust automation controller that is extensively used in industry. In particular, students will have hands-on experience in using Festo PLC software to solve realistic engineering problems.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7071
    Course Mechatronics II
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Assessment Assignments, Project, Final Exam
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Lei Chen

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On completion of the course, students should be able to:

    1 Develop basic programming skills with PLCs;
    2 Demonstrate an understanding of data types, CPU memory, I/O;
    3 Demonstrate the ability to program automation processes using PLCs;
    4 Have the ability to control simple devices such as motors and cylinders using PLCs.
    5 Have a good understanding of the architecture of Micro-controller systems;
    6 Be able to design a simple real-time Micro-controller system.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-6
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-6
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-6
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-6
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-6
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1-6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Access to Mechtronics Lab (S311b & S311c), Printed Lecture Notes from the Image & Copy Centre, Access to MyUni, Access to a printer.

    Recommended Resources

    Printed Lecture Notes from the Image & Copy Centre, Library text books on PLC, access to a printer, access to the internet, access to TURNITIN.

    Online Learning

    Course material provided via MyUni.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Teaching and learning modes for this course are through contact lectures, computer laboratories in the Mechtronics Lab (S311b & S311c) and self-study. The lectures provide the background theory for the subject, and the computer laboratories provide learners with the practical experience in using PLC software to solve engineering problems. The PLC projects are an integral part of the course learning and outcomes, and are used to develop the graduate attributes of the learners. The projects also enable students to demonstrate their knowledge gained from the course by independently solving complex engineering problems. Lab reporting is a formative part of the learning experience and provides learners with the ability to communicate their understanding of the course material to wider enegineering community professionally.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided only as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Lecture Contact Hours: 24 hours
    Lab Contact Hours: 24 hours
    PLC Project: > 50 hours
    Exam Preparation: 34 hours
    Lab reports: 12 hours
    Lecture preparation: 12 hours
    Total: 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary
    • Structure of PLC (3 lectures)
    • Basic Concepts for PLC Programming (3 lectures)
    • Data Types (3 lectures)
    • CPU Memory (3 lectures)
    • Input/Output Control (3 lectures)
    • Building and Running Projects (3 lectures)
    • Microcontroller introduction (6 lectures)
    Specific Course Requirements

    Access to Mechtronics Lab (S311b & S311c) will be required to complete the lab sessions and the PLC Projects.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    The following is an outline of the assessment for this course. Please note that while every effort has been made to ensure that this information reflects an accurate plan, the coordinator reserves the right to make changes that ensure the continual improvement of the course. Any such changes will be made clear during the lectures and via MyUni.

    Component Weighting Course Learning Objectives
    PLC Projects 30% (compulsory) 1-6
    Final Exam 70% (compulsory) 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements

    Completion of the PLC Projects with a grading of Pass or higher is required.

    Assessment Detail

    The PLC projects provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their comprehension of the course material. The projects are marked and included in the final assessment so that students take them seriously.

    The examination is a summative assessment and is intended to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of the course material and how it fits into the global engineering context. The final examination is open-book.


    The project reports will be submitted through MyUni.

    Late submission of the reports will not be accepted as the answers will be discussed at the following lecture the next day.

    The Late Penalty for assignments and the PLC Project is 10% per each end of day. Hence weekends lose 3 days = 30%.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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