Course Descriptions
MECH_ENG 439: Computer Control in Manufacturing

Quarter Offered

Winter : TTh 3:30-4:50 SYNCHRONOUS ; K. Ehmann


MECH ENG 340-1,2 and MECH ENG 391, or consent of instructor.


Catalog Description

Digital control theory, design methodology, and techniques for controller implementation on digital computers. Discrete system modeling, system identification, and adaptive control methods. Single and multi-axis motion generation algorithms. Multiple objective control systems for machinery guidance, manufacturing process, and precision control.

Who Takes It

vmc100This course is primarily aimed at graduate students in engineering and sciences who are interested in the fundamentals and applications of classical and adaptive methods for the digital control of machines and processes. Advanced undergraduates can also enroll with the consent of the instructor.

What It's About

The control of manufacturing machines and processes poses a wide spectrum of problems due to the generally time varying nature of the governing physical processes making the use of classical control methods difficult. This course offers an introductory treatment of the prevalent methods used for motion and process control in manufacturing machines such as machine tools and robots by both customary as well as adaptive control methods.

The fundamental and implementation issues related to real-time system identification, as a prerequisite for adaptive process control, monitoring and diagnostics, are also covered. Finally, precision motion command generation and interpolation algorithms are also introduced.


  • Introduction/Review of digital control system theory
  • Discrete models of dynamic systems
  • System identification
  • Adaptive control methods
  • Trajectory generation and interpolation
  • Control of machines and processes - case studies


The course meets two days per week for 90-minute lectures.


Weekly problem sets (or mini-project), a midterm, and a final exam. All exams will be open book and open notes.




Professor: Kornel F. Ehmann