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Option topic 3: Automated manufacturing systems

Timing and resources

Time: 5 weeks

Syllabus: pages 52–55 Section 9.4.3

Software/course specifications: page 15

Text: Heinemann IPT HSC—G. K. Powers (chapter 6)

Syllabus outcomes

H1.1Applies an understanding of the nature and function of information technologies to a specific practical situation

H1.2Explains and justifies the way in which information systems relate to information processes in a specific context

H2.1Analyses and describes a system in terms of the information processes involved

H2.2Develops solutions for an identified need which address all of the information processes

H3.1Evaluates the effect of information systems on the individual, society and the environment

H3.2Demonstrates ethical practice in the use of information systems, technologies and processes

H4.1Proposes ways in which information systems will meet emerging needs

H5.2Assesses the ethical implications of selecting and using specific resources and tools

Students learn to:

1.Characteristics of automated manufacturing systems

(a)Explain concepts of automation and manufacturing.

(b)Describe an automated manufacturing system as an information system involved in production by inventory tracking, record-keeping, production scheduling and actual production.

(c)Identify and describe the features of an automated manufacturing system—sensor, controller, actuator.

(d)Describe direct users of an automated manufacturing system—supervisors, people whose task is dependent on the system for information.

(e)Evaluate and refine a block diagram—external input, system, external output, external output/input.

2.Examples of automated manufacturing systems

(a)Describe an assembly line production in terms of participants, data/information and information technology—programmable logic controllers.

(b)Describe automated warehouses in terms of participants, data/information and information technology.

(c)Describe CAD/CAM in terms of participants, data/information and information technology—numerical control.

(d)Describe mail sorting in terms of participants, data/information and information technology—EV-40, NP-


(e)Outline the reasons for automation—repetitive tasks, faster decision making, safety, cost reduction, quality control, productivity gains, design gains through simulating and modelling.

3.Collecting in automated manufacturing systems

(a)Discuss the relationship between CAD and CAM in manufacturing systems—CIM.

(b)Use a CAD software package to reproduce a given design.

(c)Describe the physical operation and scientific principles of sensors—temperature sensors, resistance thermometers, thermocouples, thermistor, pressure sensors, diaphragm, motion sensors, flow sensors, light sensors, photodiode.

(d)Describe the operation of barcode readers and inventory tracking—barcode, checksum, EAN-13.

(e)Explain analog to digital conversion—ADC.

(f)Describe damping—overdamping, underdamping, critical damping.

4.Other information processes

(a)Describe the trend towards mass productioninflexibility.

(b)Outline types of production—continuous system, batch system, discrete system.

(c)Categorise and justify systems as either continuous, discrete or batch.

(d)Describe actuators as a display device that performs a mechanical action under the control of a signal from a controller—solenoid, electric motor, stepper motor, relay, hydraulic pump.

(e)Explain digital to analog conversion—DAC.

(f)Identify noise as unwanted data or interference that reduces the quality of the signal—shielding, filters, methods of error detection.

5.Issues related to automated manufacturing systems

(a)Identify and discuss the changing nature of work resulting from automation in manufacturing technology—job design, deskilling, multiskilling.

(b)Describe the advantages of semi-automation—flexibility, common sense, ingenuity.

(c)Classify and justify systems as either human-centred systems or machine-centred systems.

(d)Identify reliability and quality as issues with automated manufacturing systems.

(e)Describe the improved safety as a result of automated manufacturing.


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Other resources used: _____________________________________________________________________________________

Date completed_________________________ Time taken_____________________ Teacher’s signature: _________________

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