ME3820 C19 Syllabus


The primary objective of the course is to empower engineers and engineering students enrolled in the course to become better engineers. Whether it is consciously considered or not the primary reason for all engineering work is to facilitate the manufacture of goods. It is our believe therefore that engineers that have an understanding of manufacturing processes and manufacturing science (the study of manufacturing processes) will be better engineers. We are with this course trying to manufacture engineers who understand how things are made so that they will be able to design things that can be made. For reference the published course description is listed below:

Course Description


Cat. I This introductory course in modern control systems will give students an understanding of the basic techniques, and the range of equipment used in most computer controlled manufacturing operations. The class work is reinforced by hands-on laboratories in the Robotics/CAM lab. Modeling and analysis of machining processes, and applications of PLC (programmable logic control) are included. Class topics include: Manufacturing Automation, Microcomputers for Process Monitoring and Control, Computer Numerical Control, Switching Theory and Ladder Logic, Transducers and Signal Conditioning, and Closed Loop Digital Control. The laboratories allow students to program and implement several types of the controllers, and will provide an introduction to the topic of industrial robotics. Recommended background: manufacturing (ME 1800), materials processing (ME 2820), elementary computer/logic device programming.

     To fulfill the primary objectives listed above and to cover the specific items listed in the course description the course consists of a series of reading assignments, lectures, video presentations, in class exercises, laboratory exercises, and online and hands on quizzes and examinations. Although most of the work including laboratory exercises, and homework will be done in groups and as collaborative exercises, some of the assignments and Quizzes and examinations will based on individual effort and will be indicated as such.




Torbjorn Bergstrom

office: WB107i

phone: 508 208 3024

Office hrs by appointment 


Week /








Wednesday / Friday


WB 107


No Class

10 Jan -Expectations

-Lab 1


15 Jan

-MFG PVs and CNC

17 Jan

-NC Code

18 Jan

-Lab 1 Due


22 Jan

-MFG Economics

24 Jan

-MFG Automation

25 Jan

-Lab 2 Due


29 Jan

-Eliminate the Engineers

31 Jan

-Automation Case Study


05 Feb

-Group Presentations

7 Feb

-Group Presentations

8 Feb

-Lab 3 Due


12 Feb

-What is a Robot?

14 Feb

-Safety in Automation

8 Feb

-Lab 4 Due


19 Feb

-Intro to PLCs

No Class


26 Feb Lecture

-Oral Exam and Review

No Class

1 March

-Lab 5 Due



CNC Machining

Grading and Expectations



% of Grade


There are 7 homework assignments. Unless otherwise noted, homework assignments are due Sundays at 11:59 PM - All homework assignments are group assignments and are to be completed together with your group.



There are 5 lab exercises. Lab exercises are assisted by TAs and  are due Fridays at 11:59 PM as noted in the schedule below. - All lab exercises are group assignments and are to be completed together with your group.



There is one comprehensive Final Exam for the course it is Due 28 Feb at 11:59 PM.



Participation is is graded based on the quality and quantity of your interactions in class and in the course discussion forum and by the quality of your participation in your group, based on peer and personal evaluations.


Late Submission of an Assignment

Any unexplained late submissions will receive reduced grade.   Late submissions will be evaluated at face value and then the grade will be reduced by 10% for each day it is late.


If you miss an assignment for medical reasons please report your situation to Health Services as soon as possible.  They will notify me if you will be missing several classes but you should also notify me by email once you are able.  Please let me know what you will (have) missed and when you believe you will be able to make it up.  I will do everything I can to accommodate your situation.


Please use your judgment here.  My cell phone battery died and my alarm never went off is not a personal emergency (See “Oops” below.)  On the other hand I do understand that things happen that affect your ability to attend class and complete assignments.  If you have or are experiencing a true personal or family emergency, please let me know as soon as possible.  As with medical issues I will make every effort to accommodate your needs.  Please remember that the WPI Counseling Office and the Dean of Students office may also be able to help you.


I understand that mistakes happen and that everyone has a bad day sometimes.  In the event you inadvertently miss a due date please let me know as soon as possible, and submit the late assignment immediately.  One time during the term I’m willing to accept any excuse for a late submission provided the correct answers have not been discussed in class.  In the event we have already reviewed an assignment in class before you realize you missed the submission date I will make an effort to work with you to find and alternate assignment or activity that will demonstrate your understanding of the materials.

Partial Credit

Any unexplained late submissions will receive reduced grade.   Late submissions will be evaluated at face value and then the grade will be reduced by 10% for each day it is late.

Academic Honesty

Students should be familiar with the WPI Academic Honesty Policy. Acts of academic dishonesty as defined in the Academic Honesty Policy or violations of specific policies listed below will handled per the procedure outlined in section 3 of the WPI Academic Honesty Policy.

This course is evaluated based on a combination of group work and individual work. All assignments and quizzes will be identified as either individual or group quizzes or assignments. Students in the class are expected to maintain a high degree of Academic Integrity whether doing individual or group work.


Quizzes and assignments identified as individual are intended to evaluate each students understanding of the particular material covered. Unless otherwise specified in the assignment:

 Quizzes will be “open book” “ open note o Feel free to use your notes, other course materials, or any available reference material.

Searching online or in the library for the answer is OK and sometimes the intended action.

Cite your sources when appropriate.


Once you have opened a quiz or assignment page and read the questions you are considered to be “Working on” the quiz or assignment.

While “Working on” a quiz or assignment identified as individual: o Do not discuss questions with other members of the class.

Do not discuss answers to questions with other members of the class.

If you don’t understand the wording of a question you may ask for clarification by posting on the course’s discussion forum.

If you read a posting on the discussion forum and feel that you can provide the clarification needed feel free to post a reply.

 If you think there is a problem with the automatic grading of a question posted online contact professor Bergstrom.

 If you have completed a quiz or assignment and submitted it you may discuss the content with other students who have also completed and submitted the assignment. See the note about Multiple Attempts below

Multiple Attempts

Quizzes and tests which are graded automatically within the canvas site will allow multiple attempts.

Services/Accommodations Available for Students with Disabilities

All Students Must Self-Identify

By law, it is the student's responsibility to identify themselves to the Office of Disability Services (ODS) and to provide documentation of the disability by a licensed professional. (Please note that learning disabled students' documentation must be less than three years old.) All incoming students have the opportunity to self-identify their disability (physical and/or learning) by filling out the bottom portion of the Voluntary Disclosure Form (60KB PDF file) enclosed in their New Student Orientation Package. Students should send this form, along with the supporting documentation, to the Director of Disability Services. Students with disabilities, who are self-identified after their admission to WPI, must also provide appropriate documentation to the Director of Disability Services, if they wish to receive accommodations.

For more information please see the WPI office of Disability Services