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Course Description

Trends like digitalization and internet of things affect the way industrial plants are designed, deployed and operated. Industrial Automation comprises the control, command and communication in real-time systems: factories, energy production and distribution, vehicles and other embedded systems. This course gives an overview over the whole chain from sensors, motors, controllers, communication networks, operator visualization, archiving and up to manufacturing execution systems and enterprise resource management. It addresses dependability and fault-tolerance against hardware and software faults and their evaluation methods. Previous knowledge in control theory is not required. The course is open to master and phd students of all engineering sections of EPFL.

The course consists of two parts:

  • Architecture of automation systems, hands-on control systems lab at Siemens
  • Handling of faults and failures in real-time systems

An important part of this course is to learn how to synthesize the material of the course with knowledge you may have already or acquire on your own. And, equally important, to practice to work together with people of different backgrounds. To this end, this course includes a graded project. For this project, you will form interdisciplinary teams, representing an automation company. Your tasks will involve to prepare a proposal for a customer plant or a dependability analysis.

Schedule 2020

02/18Introduction, automation and plantsYAP
02/25Control and programmable logic controllers (PLCs)YAP
03/03Human interface and supervisionJCT
03/10Industrial communication networks, field bussesYAP
03/17Industrial communication protocolsYAP
03/24Dependability Analysis 1JCT
03/31Dependability Analysis 2JCT
04/07Dependable Software and Safety EvaluationJCT
04/14EPFL Vacation*
04/21Programming logic controllersYAP
04/28!!! Hands-on lab (Siemens Renens) 9:00-16:00 !!!*
05/05Dependable architecturesJCT
05/12Real-time Aspects and SensorsJCT
05/19!!! Hands-on lab (Siemens Renens) 9:00-16:00 !!!*
05/26Presentation of homework, Q&A both

* Hands-on lab at Siemens
Each student takes part in one of the Siemens sessions. They take place from 9:00 to 16:00, only for registered students, at Siemens in Renens (Situation plan, just walk from Renens CFF Station uphill until you reach the Avenue des Baumettes, takes 1/4 hour)