Cambridge Weblabs: a Process Control System using industrial standard SIMATIC PCS 7

Authors: Maria Botero, Anders Selmer, Roger Watson, Mukta Bansal, and Markus Kraft*

Reference: Education for Chemical Engineers 16, 1-8, (2016)

  • A remotely controlled experiment suitable for reactor engineering and process control teaching.
  • With SIEMENS industry standard control software we introduce students to real-world systems.
  • We have shared the experiment on the web enabling remote access from anywhere in the world.

Graphical abstract Continually assessed project work forms a core part of the Chemical Engineering curriculum at Cambridge. We have designed and built a remotely controlled chemical reactor that has been used and evaluated in undergraduate chemical engineering education. The purpose was to provide a pedagogical and authentic experience to students with essential training when laboratory usage was impossible or impractical, and be able to run and share the experiments as a fully functioning chemical engineering plant. A state-of-the-art SIMATIC PCS 7 Process Control System from Siemens is used for controlling, monitoring and providing results output. We describe the experimental setup, the hard- and software used, the teaching assignment and finally the results of the student evaluation. We also describe the challenges on the sustainability of the weblabs.

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*Corresponding author:
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 762784 (Dept) 769010 (CHU)
Address: Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
University of Cambridge
West Cambridge Site
Philippa Fawcett Drive
Cambridge CB3 0AS
United Kingdom
Website: Personal Homepage