Student guide Faculty of Engineering A.Y. 2008/09

Fundamentals of Automation
Aim of the course
The goal of automation is to transfer to machines the task of controlling and monitoring a wide variety of systems. As a result, automation is a highly interdisciplinary field that touches on nearly every area of engineering. The course covers the fundamental ideas relating to the modelling of automated control systems, and the formalisation and resolution of simple control problems. Examples drawn from various application sectors will serve to illustrate the multidisciplinary nature of the subject.
Mathematical Analysis I and II.
1. Introduction
- The control problem: formulation and examples. Control system architectures
2. Dynamical systems
- Role of the process dynamic. Models of elementary systems. Linear systems. Notes on linearisation
- Transfer functions: definition and use. Poles, zeroes, gain. Stability.
- Response of a 1st order system: time constant. 2nd order systems: real poles and complex and conjugate poles. Role of zeroes.
- Block diagrams: cascade, parallel, feedback diagrams. Stability. Processing rules. Frequency response: definition, significance and connection with the transfer function. Bode plots
3. Control systems
- Formalisation of a simple control problem. Role of transducers and actuators. Requirements of a control system.
- Stability. Phase margin. Bode criterion.
- Static performance: error after transient effect. Dynamic performance: response time and degree of stability
- Design of the controller: specifications. Static design and dynamic design. Compensations.
4. Control system Technologies
- PID controllers: calibration rules.
There will be a written exam, possibly integrated where necessary with an oral exam.
Reading list
Reference textbooks
Collection of past exam questions with answers, available from the lecturers.
Further reading
Bolzern P., Scattolini R., Schiavoni N., Fondamenti di controlli automatici, McGraw-Hill, Milano 1998.