Core Module Information
Module title: Automation and Robotics

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: MEC11107
Module leader: James McWhinnie
School School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Subject area group: Mechanical Materials and Manufacturing Management


Description of module content:

The work covers the various aspects of automation and application of robots in industry in particular in the area of automatic assembly.
Dedicated and Flexible automation systems; criteria for selection of automation systems;
Robotics : Mechanical elements ; co-ordinate systems; drive mechanisms.
Robot programming and control; software function; interfaces to controller; position /motion/ hybrid control.
Programming robots: On -line using proprietary robot programming languages e.g. VAL3 directly and using the teach pendant emulator; Off - line programming languages e.g. GRASP.
Applications: choice of robot; robot tooling; ancillary equipment; performance specifications.
Use of sensors in automation; sensor types contact, proximity, force, vision systems.
Dedicated automation systems: materials handling; analysis and control functions.
Assembly: Part feed systems; orienting devices e.g. vibratory bowl feeder; tooling; Materials handling devices e.g. indexing devices; conveyors.
Placement devices: Pick and place;
Workheads: Fixing methods
General: Line balance of assembly systems; Reliability in automation; Cost justification of automation; Job analysis; Implementation of automated systems

Learning Outcomes for module:

On completion of this module you will be able to:
LO1: demonstrate a critical understanding of the operation of industrial robots.
LO2: critically evaluate robots for particular applications.
LO3: analyse particular industrial applications and evaluate possible solutions in terms of automated
(dedicated / flexible) or mixed manual/ automated systems.
LO4: design flexible and dedicated automatic systems.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: James McWhinnie
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Learning & teaching methods including their alignment to learning outcomes
Lectures supported by notes, pointers to texts and video material will introduce the concepts and form a framework of self study. Tutorials will allow application of principles to specific examples for both dedicated and flexible automation, in particular in the area of assembly applications. Practical work (LO 3&4) will take place in the robotics laboratory and will involve application and programming of both robots and dedicated automation equipment, part of this work will be group based dis-assembly of robot programming methods. The practical content will be enhanced by videos of systems and other media via the VLE.

Use will be made of British Standards, research publications, appropriate specifications and information from manufacturers and the trade press.

The module will be assessed by final written examination (LO 1-3) and one piece of coursework (LO 3&4) involving designing and automation system for manufacture of a small product. This course work will also involve consideration of the product in the context of an automation application.

Embedding of employability/PDP/scholarship skills
Students taking this module will already have an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline or have undertaken equivalent learning. The purpose here is to provide additional expertise in their chosen field. The School has very active ties to employers through the well established Industrial Liaison Committees.

Assessment (formative and summative)
A range of assessments will be used. Primarily the technical content will be assessed through a combination of courseworks (LO 3&4) and formal examination (LO 1-3). The formal examination will be used to test the students overall knowledge and understanding of the subject material.

Formative Assessment:
Throughout the module there will be practical sessions and tutorial discussions where a students progress can be monitored.

Summative Assessment:
One practical coursework will cover all learning outcomes L01, LO2, LO3 and LO4. The coursework will require the student to analyse an assembly task, design, write and test a programme to control one of the university robots. The centrally timetabled exam covers all learning outcomes L01, LO2, LO3 and LO4.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 12
Independent Learning Guided independent study 149
Face To Face Centrally Time Tabled Examination 3
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 30 3,4 13 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 70 1,2,3 14/15 HOURS= 3, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 30
Component 2 subtotal: 70
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader