Objectives and Syllabus

Discusses the techniques available for processing the data within process control and related systems for use in plant and enterprise management. Topics covered are - computer integrated manufacturing (CIM); manufacturing business organisation, MRP, open systems, client-server, management execution systems, OPC: real-time information systems: relational databases; structured query language SQL, entity-relationship modelling, integrated spreadsheets, data & decision support hierarchies: statistical process control (SPC); data variance, multivariate statistics, principal component analysis, condition monitoring, control charts: introduction to optimisation; costs and benefits, constraint and equality models, linear programming: introduction to fuzzy logic, neural nets & expert systems.

Practical work consists of exercises designed to provide experience in the use of the query language SQL.

Module Details
Code: CME 8368 (formerly ACS 668)
Time Allocation: Lectures 40 hours
Assignments 40 hours
Private Study 70 hours
Prerequisites: Mathematics and Matlab (CME 8360)
Weighting: 7.5 credits
Assessment: By report on assignment
By 1 x 2 hour examination
Advanced Process Automation


To provide an understanding of the statistical techniques and database technologies that enable management information to be abstracted from historic and real-time data for decision support.


  • To develop a deep understanding of the application of statistical techniques to process control.  
  • To study relational databases and the concepts upon which they are based. 
  • To become familiar with the principles of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) systems and production management. 
  • To introduce the use of real-time databases for decision support. 
  • To provide an introduction to linear programming as a basis for the CME 8390 module on Optimisation and Scheduling. 
  • To provide an introduction to some of the technologies involved in the CME 8386 module on Fuzzy, Neural and Expert Systems.


Prerequisite for this module is the Mathematics and Matlab (CME 8360) module.

It is desirable, but not essential, that students have completed (or have some familiarity with the material covered in) the Batch Control and Application Software (CME 8372) and the Control System Technology (CME 8378) modules before doing this one.

Study Modes

This module is of one week's full-time intensive study consisting of a variety of lectures, informal tutorials for problem solving and structured computer-based laboratory work.  It is followed by an assignment to be carried out in the student’s own time.


The time allocation for practical work provides for hands-on experience of querying databases using SQL.