Digital Fundamentals and PLCs
  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 60.0
Credit Value: 4.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Fall 2019
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: (ENGI75979 AND ENGI75940 AND ENGI75900)
Equivalents: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Siemens Mechatronics Systems
Program Coordinator(s): Amjed Majeed
Course Leader or Contact: Andy Alubaidy
Version: 20190903_01
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: This course is offered in a face-to-face delivery mode over 14 weeks using a fully integrated, project-based system approach and must be taken with the other Sheridan Mechatronics program courses concurrently. At the end of the Sheridan certificate, students may be eligible to write the Siemens Level 1 Certification Exam on-line. This exam is administered by Siemens Academy.

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students explore the fundamentals of digital logic and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) in a complex mechatronic system with a focus on the automation system SIMATIC S7 and the programming software STEP7. Using computer simulation, students learn the role PLCs play within a mechatronics system or subsystem. Students also examine basic elements of PLC functions by writing simple codes and testing these programs on an actual system. Students apply troubleshooting strategies to identify and localize problems caused by PLC hardware.

Program Context

Siemens Mechatronics Systems Program Coordinator(s): Amjed Majeed
This course is part of a four course program that prepares students for the certification as a Certified Siemens Mechatronic Systems Technician. The job profile for which the Level 1 certification prepares students is that of a machine operator, who has a well-rounded understanding of the complex interrelationships and inter-workings of a mechatronics system. A non-refundable material fee of $50 is included in the course fees. Materials have to be returned to the College if you withdraw from the course.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

  Critical Performance:
By the end of this course students will have demonstrated the ability to operate and troubleshoot malfunctions in the flow of information within complex mechatronic systems, modules and subsystems.
Learning Outcomes:

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

  1. Explain the role of programmable logic controllers (PLCs) within a given system or module.
  2. Describe the flow of information in a given mechatronic system or subsystem with a focus on the control function of PLCs in the system.
  3. Describe the basic functions and commands of PLCs.
  4. Analyze the technical documents such as data sheets, function diagrams, operation manuals, schematics, and ladder diagrams as they relate to digital logic and PLCs.
  5. Document specific system malfunctions identified in or caused by PLC hardware within a tolerant range based upon the technical documentation.
  6. Apply safety rules while working on PLCs and mechatronic systems.
  7. Translate the fundamentals of digital logic and programmable logic controllers from one type of PLC to another.
  8. Create fundamental elements of a program to control the function of PLCs guided by logic principles.
  9. Communicate orally, visually and in written form using the terminology and standards of PLCs and the mechatronics discipline.

Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

 Evaluation Plan: IN-CLASS
 In-class Labs (10 @ 5% each)50.0%
 Midterm Exam25.0%
 Final Exam25.0%

Evaluation Notes and Academic Missed Work Procedure:
Regardless of the final total mark, students must obtain at least an 70% on the combined lab/exam components of this course in order to obtain a passing grade in this course.

Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Colleges and Universities requirements:


Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) - Office of the Registrar

  • Not Eligible for PLAR

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Instruction Mode: In-Class
Professor: Shahab Ghafari
RequiredOtherCourse materials provided by Siemens Mechatronics Certification Program and may include special software such as TIA Portal and Diagnostic Kit software. Students must also have access to a mechatronic training system containing all or most of the basic component types covered in the course.

Applicable student group(s): Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program
Course Details:

The order in which the content will be discussed is dependent upon the mechatronic system
which is being used. In each case, the component and/or class of components will be discussed
within the context of the system and the module in which the component is located. This means
that the exact order of presentation will vary according to the system available for instruction. It is
also important that all classes of electrical components be discussed, whether available in the
training system or not.

Module 1 – Digital Systems
Function and design of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC)
Types of signals in control systems
Number systems and digital logic
Configuration of a PLC
Basic function modules of PLC
Program processing
Labs x 5         (25%)
Mid-term test (25%)

Module 2 – Fundamentals of PLC Programming
Basic fundamentals of the programming language STEP7
Testing and simulation of a PLC program
Safety issues, including local regulations
Preventive and routine maintenance of PLCs
Troubleshooting of the PLC hardware within a module or system
Labs x 5     (25%)
Final Exam (25%)


Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

Intellectual Property: Sheridan's Intellectual Property Policy generally applies such that students own their own work. Please be advised that students working with external research and/or industry collaborators may be asked to sign agreements that waive or modify their IP rights. Please refer to Sheridan's IP Policy and Procedure.

Respectful Behaviour: Sheridan is committed to provide a learning environment that supports academic achievement by respecting the dignity, self-esteem and fair treatment of every person engaged in the learning process. Behaviour which is inconsistent with this principle will not be tolerated. Details of Sheridan's policy on Harassment and Discrimination, Academic Integrity and other academic policies are available on the Sheridan policy website.

Accessible Learning: Accessible Learning coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities. For more information or to register, please see the Accessible Learning website (Statement added September 2016)

Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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