MECHENG 710 : Advanced Industrial Automation


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Automation technologies widely used in manufacturing and processing industries. Topics include: industrial robotics; programmable logic controllers (PLCs); pneumatics; machine vision systems; automated assembly; design for automation; and Industry 4.0 (such as machine-to-machine communications and data analysis). Students will participate in a number of hands-on labs, including an individual research project related to the application of advanced automation techniques.

Course Overview

Students to be exposed to the following topics:-

1. Industrial robots and its associated technologies, and apply these to a manufacturing cell.

2.Programmable logic controllers (PLCs)  and pneumatics as an electro-pneumatic system used in manufacturing automation environment.

3. Machine vision system used as an automated inspection system in a manufacturing environment.

4. IoT, data analytics and Industry 4.0. used as a smart manufacturing/automation system.

This is a level 9 course and students are expected to work on individual research project(s) / assignments with a total of at least 30% weighting.  In this course you will be exposed to two inter-related individual research assignments
•    10% Research Assignment about the improvement of an existing industrial automation
•    20% Research Assignment about the automation of a new production process
These inter-related individual assignments will meet the 30% individual project requirement.  This is in addition to the group project of 30%, in which you will work in a group to implement a practical solution to automate a manufacturing cell.

Students must sit the exam to pass the course. Otherwise, a DNS result will be returned.

Course Requirements

Restriction: MECHENG 709

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Develop and implement an electro-pneumatic system for industrial usage. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Create code for a standard element of industrial automation: a programmable logic controller (PLC) and apply this to an electro-pneumatic system. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Design a computer vision system to improve an industrial process. (Capability 1 and 3)
  4. Develop and implement a complex automation task using industrial robots in a manufacturing cell. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 5)
  5. Develop and implement an Industry 4.0 compliant system using OPC-UA for data communication. (Capability 1 and 6)
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of IoT and data analytics technologies related to automated manufacturing. (Capability 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Project 30% Group Coursework
Assignments 40% Group & Individual Coursework
Final Exam 30% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam
Students must sit the Final Exam to complete the course. 

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 3 hours of lectures,  1 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 6 hours of work on assignments/project and/or exam preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled labs to receive credit for components of the course.
Lectures will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including seminars/tutorials/labs/studios will not be available as recordings.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Course materials in Canvas.

Health & Safety

Students are expected to adhere to the guidelines outlined in the Health and Safety section of the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook.

All students are to be inducted before allowed to use the labs.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 17/11/2021 11:37 a.m.