37065 - Automatic Machines T

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Decent work and economic growth Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The course aims to provide students with the knowledge related to the architectures of automatic machines and their main subsystems including fluid actuation systems, with particular regard to pneumatic systems. Students are also given an introduction to additive manufacturing technologies and their applications for automatic machines. At the end of the course, the student: - has the ability to analyze the architectures of automatic machines. - can approach a functional design of an automatic machine - can manage some issues related to automatic machines in the perspective of industry 4.0 - can analyze and a pneumatic circuit - can design a simple pneumatic circuit - can apply the knowledge acquired in additive manufacturing in order to approach a mechanical components project.

Course contents

The course is structured in two modules corresponding to 6 CFU and 3 CFU respectively. The two modules are developed in a parallel manner during the lecture period.

The first module, 6 CFU (60 hours), is organized into the following chapters:

M1-1. The first section consists of the following chapters:

M1-1 History of Industrial Automation and Automatic Machines in the context of Bologna

M1-2 Introduction to the basics of Industrial Automation

M1-3 Parameters for calculating the productivity of an automatic machine

M1-4 Probabilistic calculation of the productivity of an automatic machine and of a line of automatic machines

M1-5 General overview of the main architectures of automatic machines:

- Asynchronous intermittent machines

- Synchronous intermittent machines

- Continue Machines

- Hybrid Architecture Machines

In the second module, 3 CFU (30 hours), the following topics are covered:

M2-1 Introduction to Fluid Actuation Systems for Automatic Machines.

M2.2 Application and choice of fluid actuation systems to groups of Automatic Machines

M2.3 Development of an assembly project

The first module and the second module are completed by exercises that are carried out by the teacher during the lectures. In addition, the teacher, during the lessons, assigns exercises for the students to do at home and which must be collected in an exercise book that will be an integral part of the exam. At times the teacher may also assign students to complete exercises that the teacher has set during lectures. The exercises are assigned during class and there is no specific day during which the exercises are assigned and done. The group project must be done and checked by the teacher before the end of the course and will be part of the exam.


1. Lectures notes

2. Geoffrey Boothroyd, Assembly Automation and Product Design, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2005

3. Stephen J. Derby, Design of Automatic Machinery, Marcel Dekker, 2005

4. A.A.V.V., Advances in Future Manufacturing Engineering, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015

5. A.A.V.V., Future Mechatronics and Automation, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015

6. Bruno Lotter, Manufacturing Assembly Handbook, Butterworths, 1986

7. Marco Fortis, Monica Carminati, The Automatic Packaging Machinery Sector in Italy and Germany, Springer, 2015

Teaching methods

Frontal teaching in the classroom with use of slides and videos.

The course is developed both providing theoretical concepts and carrying out and assigning theoretical exercises and applications related to construction aspects of Automatic Machines.

To students are assigned exercises to be carried out autonomously and individually (only if specified by the teacher some exercises may be carried out in groups and, in this case, the names and surnames of the students who participated in the group must be specified in the homework book). These exercises must be collected, in an orderly manner, in a homework book that the students must bring to the exam for oral discussion.

Assessment methods

The examination will cover the topics covered during module 1 and module 2 will take place through an oral interview with the teacher. During the oral examination the student will have to answer theory questions and will have to discuss the exercises of the homework book. In addition, the teacher will ask the student cross-cutting and reasoning questions related to the topics and exercises covered in class. Usually, during the oral examination, 5 questions will be asked, 3 related to the first module and 2 related to the second module. In order to pass the exam, the student will have to answer correctly and fully at least 4 of the 5 questions.

Teaching tools

PowerPoint presentations and audiovisual

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Zucchelli