Skip to main content
CODE 80551
SEMESTER 1° Semester


Basic procedure for the design of an industrial automation system. Sensors afor phisical parameters (temperature, pressure, flow, level). The concept of Intelligent Fiedl Device and the distributed automation.

Ethernet-based communication protocols and software languages for the industrial automation using PLCs.  Typical architectures for the distributed automation.

Basic concepts of Industry 4.0.



The course describes the technologies and the solutions used for the Industrial Automation. The main items of the course are: different environment for IA (factory, continuous process, technological networks, building automation), instrumentation and actuators, Intelligent Field Devices, fieldbus, architectures for IA, Industry 4.0 (Smart Manufacturing).


Lessons and laboratory tests and experiences


1      Instrumentation for the Industrial Automation

         1        Conceptual model of the Industrial Automation

                   .a) measurement and control -> accuracy and repetibility

                   .b) process – instrumentation – control – actuators

                        .c) the role of Computer Engineer

         2        Goal of the automation in different areas

                   .a) Continuous Process -> regolation -> DCS

                        .b) Factory Automation -> sequences -> PLC

                        .c) Service Networks -> supervision -> SCADA

                        .d) Building Automation -> supervision -> SCADA

         4        Conceptual model of a Transmitter

                   .a) sensor -> processing -> signal 

                        .b) microprocessor-based instruments

                        .c) axiliary power supply (summary)

            5        Actuators (summary)

                   .a) on-off electric: relays and motor starters

                        .b) on-off pneumatic: electro-valve

                        .c) continuous electric: drives

                        .d) continuous pneumatic: actuators and positioners for valves

         6        Standard signals (analog and digital)

                   .a) on/off signal (SPDT)

                   .b) current/voltage signals

                        .c) signals with live-zero

                        .d) instruments with 2/4-wires

         7        The concept of Fieldbus

                   .a) A/D conversions

                        .b) network of devices in field: the fieldbus

                        .c) reduction of cabling

                        .d) the need of a standard


2      The Project of an Automation System

         1        Data-flow and People

                   .a) process expert and automation expert

                        .b) functional specifications

         2        P&ID

                   .a) ISA symbols for instrumentation

                        .b) Process & Instrumentation Diagram

         3        The I/O List

                   .a) goal of the I/O list            

                        .b) typical I/O list



3      Measurement of Temperature

         1        Generalità

                   .a) measuring units

                        .b) thermometers: operating principles

                        .c) thermostats: operating principles

         2        Resistance Temperature Detectors (RTD)

                     .a) operating principles

                        .b) standards and accuracy

                        .c) problems with installation

         3        Thermocouples (TC)

                     .a) operating principles

                        .b) standards and accuracy

                        .c) problems with installation


         4        Other sensors

                   .a) thermistors

                        .b) pirometers

                        .c) innovative sensors (optic, acustic, ...)

         5        Installation of the Instruments

                   .a) construction shapes

                        .b) thermo-wells


4      Measurement of Pressure

         1        Generalità

                        .a) measuring units

                        .b) absolute-relative-differential pressure

                        .c) manometers: operating principles

                        .d) pressure switches: operating principles

         2        Sensors for pressure

                   .a) strain gauge

                        .b) piezo-electric

                        .c) capacitive

                        .d) other sensors: resonant, optic, ...

         3        Installation of the Instruments

                   .a) root valves and piping

                        .b) manifolds


5      Measurement of Flow

         1        General

                   .a) flow measurement for solids and fluids

                        .b) flowmeters: operating principles

                        .c) flow-switches: operating principles

         2        Volumetric systems

                   .a) gears

                        .b) turbines

                        .c) target type

                        .d) Rangeability and reliability

         3        Restricted area devices    

                   .a) the Law of Bernoulli

                        .b) pressure profile

                        .c) primary elements: flanges, nozzles, venturi-pipes, pitot-pipes

                        .d) installation problems

         4        Magnetic flowmeters

                   .a) the Faraday Law

                        .b) structure of a mag flowmeter

                        .c) accuracy and rangeability

                        .d) sizing and installation

            5        Vortex transmitter

                   .a) The vortexes of Von Karman

                        .b) structure of a vortex flowmeter

                        .c) accuracy and rangeability

                        .d) sizing and installation


         6        Mass flowmeter

                   .a) the concept of mass-flow

                        .b) The law of Coriolis

                        .c) accuracy and rangeability

                        .d) sizing and installation


         7        Other sensors for flow-metering

                   .a) ultrasonic

                        .b) thermal mass


6      Measurement of Level

         1        General

                   .a) levels of bulk material and liquids

                        .b) gauge and switch

         2        Electro-mechanical systems

                   .a) glass indicators

                        .b) measuring rods and ropes

                        .c) flow sensors

                        .d) rotating blades

                        .e) vibration sensors

                        .f) jo-jo sensors

                        .g) torque bar

                        .h) conductive sensors

         3        Hydrostatic pressure transmitters

                   .a) physical priciple

                        .b) pressurized and atmospheric tanks

                        .c) installation criteria

                        .d) submerged probe

         4        Capacitive transmitters

                   .a) physical priciple

                        .b) shapes and materials

                        .c) installation criteria

         5        Fly-time measuring systems

                   .a) ultrasonic transmitters

                        .b) micro-waves transmitters

                        .c) areas of application

                        .d) installation criteria

         6        Radioactive transmitters (summary)

                   .a) physical principle

                        .b) typical applications


7      Fieldbus

         1        Intelligent Field Device

                   .a) the concept of IFD

                        .b) advanced functions of IFD

                        .c) Smart instruments (Hart protocol)

         2        The concept of Communication Protocol

                   .a) the ISO/OSI model

                        .b) physical layer

                        .c) data link: data structure

                        .d) data link: Media Access Control

                        .e) transportation and networking (TCP/IP)

                        .f) application layer

                        .g) the companion standards (profiles)

         3        Internation standards for fieldbus

                   .a) from the beginnings to the IEC 61158

                        .b) standards for fieldbus todays

                        .c) Ethernet-based protocols

         4        Basic priciples of Profibus

                   .a) Profibus DP: principles and applications

                        .b) Profibus PA: principles and applications

                        .c) Specific profiles: ProfiSafe, ProfiDrive, ProfiEnergy

                        .d) Profinet

         5        Basic principles of Foundation Fieldbus

                   .a) level H1 and HSE

                        .b) Link Active Scheduler

                        .c) FF and distributed programming

         7        Wireless Sensor Networks

                   .a) industrial applications for wireless

                        .b) IEEE 802.11: WiFi

                        .c) IEEE 802.15: Bluetooth

                        .d) IEEE 802.15.4: ZigBee

                        .e) hybrid architectures (gateway)


8      Automation Systems and Architectures

         1        The levels of automation

                   .a) multi-levels architectures: from the field to the control room

                        .b) distributed vs. concentrated architettures

                        .c) ERP and MES (summary)

                        .d) Internet: problems of security

         2        Operating principles of PLC/DCS/SCADA

                   .a) HW components: CPU, I/O cards, Power Supply, ...

                        .b) functional cyucles

         3        IEC 61131-3 programming languages   

                   .a) origin and use of the IEC 61131-3

                   .b) ladder diagram

                        .c) instruction list

                        .d) structured text

                        .e) function block language

                        .f) Sequencial Function Chart

                        .g) PC-based architectures

         4        OLE for Process Control

                   .a) interface between applications and controllers

                        .b) the benefits of OPC

                        .c) future deveolpment (OPC-UA)



[1]     A. Brunelli : “Strumentazione di misura e controllo nelle applicazioni industriali” Ed. GISI, 2002, ISBN 88-903-7314-8

[2]     L.A. Bryan, E.A. Bryan: “Programmable Controllers – Theory and Implementation”, ISBN 0-944107-32-X

[3]     N.P.Mahalik (a cura di), “Fieldbus Technology – Industrial Network Standards for Real-Time Distributed Control”, ISBN 3-540-40183-0

[4]     F.Cascetta (a cura di), “Strumentazione di misura per sistemi di telecontrollo di reti idriche di pubblica utilità”, ISBN 88-464-1565-5

[5]     P.Pinceti, “SCADA per sistemi elettrici”, ISBN 88-464-4991-6

[6]     ASEM, “Personal Automation – L’automazione industriale basata su PC”, ISBN 88-481-1475-X

[7]     J.Berge, “Fieldbuses for Process Control”, ISBN 1556177607



Web sites:













[1]     Automazione e Strumentazione

[2]      Fieldbus e Network

[3]      InTech

[4]      Control Engineering

[5]      IEEE Instrumentation & Measurements

[6]      Eidos

[7]      Automazione Oggi    

[8]      Tutto Misure




Exam Board



GIORGIO CANNATA (President Substitute)


Class schedule

L'orario di tutti gli insegnamenti è consultabile all'indirizzo EasyAcademy.



12 questions with short written answers. Each answer is up to 3 points.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
16/01/2023 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
30/01/2023 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
14/02/2023 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
29/05/2023 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
12/06/2023 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
10/07/2023 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
04/09/2023 09:00 GENOVA Scritto