College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Electrical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Electrical Engineering



Primary Advisor

NFN Taufik


This work details our efforts to build a new industrial automation lab for the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Electrical Engineering department from the ground up. Thanks to a donation of Modicon M580 programmable logic controllers (PLCs) from Schneider Electric, we built a lab hardware layout to support a learning environment for students. The Electrical Engineering department currently doesn’t offer any courses for students to learn about automation in topics more closely following the topics learned in their curriculum. It will be beneficial for the school and the students to have graduates in the major with some knowledge of controls in the field of industrial automation. Many large corporations including Rockwell Automation, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Yokogawa, and Mitsubishi Electric all have substantial jobs in the workplace. For the lab, research led to multiple different designs of how to layout the DIN rail and other equipment. Our final layout placed a strong emphasis on reducing cost, including removing a metal backplane and using a flexible mounting system for the touchscreen. The results shown in the the work illustrate the flexibility of the lab bench setup moving forward, as future students will need room for growth as they continue to develop the lab. Additional time was spent developing lab instructions for the first lab of the course, a simple introduction into programming with ladder logic and function block diagram.