About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6042-6050
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1442

Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain

VIRTUAL LAB FOR ONLINE LEARNING IN INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION. A COMPARISON STUDY

E. Gil, D. Delgado, R. Aragües

University of Zaragoza (SPAIN)
Over the last two decades there have been fundamental changes in the teaching-learning process where Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) have played a key role. ICTs provide some solutions that could not be imagined some years ago as online and distance learning. Massive Online Open Courses having enrolled about 58 million people [1] as well as the effort of several institutions for attracting international students offering online courses [2] are clear examples.

In this way, the Escuela Universitaria Politécnica de Teruel, University of Zaragoza is planning to offer blended-learning courses for undergraduate students of Engineering on Electronics and Automation (GIEA). Blended learning combines both online resources and traditional face-to face activities. In a previous study [3] 13 core courses of the GIEA Engineering studies, including Industrial Automation, where analyzed evaluating the main available tools for practical training.

Industrial Automation is a subject with strong applied content and the practices are divided covering fundamental functions of any industrial automation system (start and stop modes, communications, Human Machine Interface), so a major concern associated to blended-learning in this subject relates to the way in which practical training is offered to students so that they acquire the required practical skills. In this preliminary study [3], it was concluded that a high percent (66%) of the laboratory activities can be performed using Virtual Labs (VL) with the EasyPLC and Machine Simulator program [4].

The main aim of this work is the development and the evaluation of this VL for Industrial Automation. Specifically, an industrial automation system has been developed by means of Machine Simulator emulating a physical mockup available in the laboratory for current face-to-face students. The industrial automation system is a conveyor belt, arranged in U‐shape, for intermittent transport and for the machining of several workpieces. It includes 2 machining stations, 4 conveyor belts, 8 DC motors, 4 limit switches, 5 light barriers, which implies the control of 9 inputs and 10 outputs.

In our paper, we give a detailed explanation of the comparison between the real mockup and the virtual system. The main problems and limitations are pointed out from several points of view, including not only the software for the industrial automation system creation but also for the programming of the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) that controls the system, i.e. the main task of the students. The suitability of the proposed solution for the acquisition of competences and learning outcomes is analyzed based on the main concepts of the subject.

References:
[1] R. Ubell, "MOOCs come back to earth (Resources Education)," in IEEE Spectrum, 54 (3): 22-22, 2017.
[2] T. R. Ortelt, S. Pekasch, K. Lensing, P. J. Gueno, D. May, A. E. Tekkaya, "Concepts of the international manufacturing remote lab (MINTReLab): Combination of a MOOC and a remote lab for a manufacturing technology online course", IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), pp. 602-607, 2016.
[3] R. Aragues, E. Gil, R. Igual, C. Medrano, J. Delgado, S. Albiol, F. Romero, J.C. García, R. Perez, “Blended learning in Electronics and Automation Engineering: a study of software and hardware needs for practical teaching” EDULEARN17 PROCEEDINGS, pp. 274-283, 2017.
[4] EasyPLC and Machine Simulator program [online] [*]. Available: http://www.nirtec.com/.
@InProceedings{GIL2018VIR,
author = {Gil, E. and Delgado, D. and Arag{\"{u}}es, R.},
title = {VIRTUAL LAB FOR ONLINE LEARNING IN INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION. A COMPARISON STUDY},
series = {10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN18 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-02709-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2018.1442},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2018.1442},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Palma, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {6042-6050}}
TY - CONF
AU - E. Gil AU - D. Delgado AU - R. Aragües
TI - VIRTUAL LAB FOR ONLINE LEARNING IN INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION. A COMPARISON STUDY
SN - 978-84-09-02709-5/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1442
PY - 2018
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2018
CI - Palma, Spain
JO - 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN18 Proceedings
SP - 6042
EP - 6050
ER -
E. Gil, D. Delgado, R. Aragües (2018) VIRTUAL LAB FOR ONLINE LEARNING IN INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION. A COMPARISON STUDY, EDULEARN18 Proceedings, pp. 6042-6050.
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