34437 - Automation of Industrial Processes M (A-K)

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course aims at illustrating the main characteristics of industrial automation systems not only from a technological point of view but also from theoretical and methodological ones. A general introduction to modern automation and the most popular architectures is given, with an emphasis on the logic control with PLCs and on the motion control systems. Instead, the methodological topics are focused on the development of optimal and Model Predictive Control (MPC) laws for discrete-time linear systems.

Course contents

Technological aspects of industrial automation

  • Automation of industrial processes
  • Computer integrated manufacturing (CIM)
  • Motion control
  • Real-time control systems and digital networks for automation 
  • The programmable logical controller (PLC)
  • The IEC61131-3 norm
  • Sequential Functional Chart (SFC) programming language

Optimal control and MPC

  • An introduction to linear, continuous-time systems
  • Discrete-time linear systems
  • Basic concepts on constrained optimisation
  • Optimal quadratic regulation for linear systems
  • Model Predictive Control for linear systems
  • Examples


As far as the technical topics are concerned, the reference book is

"Sistemi di automazione industriale - Architetture e controllo," Claudio Bonivento, Luca Gentili, Andrea Paoli, McGraw-Hill Italia, ISBN: 9788838666933, 2010.

supported by the slides provided by the teacher. As far as the methodological part is concerned, instead, most of the topics are covered in an exhaustive way by the slides provided by the teacher, possibly with the help of research papers and book chapters recommended during the classes.

Teaching methods

Besides the classical frontal classes, practical activities dealing with the logic control software design and the development of optimal control and MPC laws in Matlab/Simulink are planned. Some home projects to be discussed at the exam are also proposed.

Assessment methods

The exam consists in a colloquium.

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Macchelli