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Instrumentation & Control Facility upgrade

Lim, Choon Hau (2009) Instrumentation & Control Facility upgrade. Other thesis, Murdoch University.


The Instrumentation & Control Facility provides an environment for Murdoch University engineering students to learn scientific knowledge and technological skills so they can monitor and improve computer based engineering systems. The students will have the opportunity to explore technologies for controlling a range of industrial processes such as programmable logic controllers (PLC) and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA).

The purpose of this thesis project is to improve the operation of the Instrumentation & Control Facility through the following goals. The first goal was to include 2 new workstations. The second goal was to implement a more structured Master I/O Server. The third goal was to improve the online webpages which are used by the students in the facility. The fourth goal was to improve the error messages that pop-up within the Experimental Template program. The fifth goal was to implement a fieldbus where Profibus sensors were introduced through the implementation of a Profibus network. When completed, students that are using the Instrumentation & Control Facility will have the opportunity to learn more about Profibus networks and will be able to conduct experiments that utilize the Profibus sensors. All of these goals will enable students to more easily set up experiments when problem solve when these experiments do not work.

One of the upgrades to the Instrumentation & Control Facility Project is to introduce two new water tanks that use a Profibus network, which will replace the conventional 4-20mA transmitters. The major difference between these tanks and the previous tanks is the method of measuring the level of water. The new tanks use a differential pressure measurement device. These devices must first be calibrated before they are installed. The purpose of introducing the Profibus Network is to allow students to learn about the functionality of these Fieldbus networks. The knowledge gained by the students using the facility will help them become fully qualified Instrumentation & Control engineers in industry.

The thesis project is divided into 3 phases: the Design phase, the Implementation phase, the Testing and Commissioning phase. The Design phase focuses on generation of up-to-date wiring diagrams, creating questionnaires and listing items of hardware nature. Manuals for Profibus PA, Profibus DP, DP/PA coupler and other components that were used were reviewed as part of the Literature Review to gain understanding and familiarise with the components and the tasks at hand. In the Implementation phase, assembly of the components plus setting up the 2 new workstations and assembly of the components plus setting up the Profibus network were carried out. In addition, the Master I/O Server was modified to allow connection via the the INAT OPC server of the Profibus PLC to the Master I/O Server.

Extension of the work is also discussed in this thesis. This includes the development of a Profibus PLC program for the software. Also discussed is the fact that the structure of the Master I/O Server and Experimental Template require modification to more easily read and change the program.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Cole, Graeme
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