SIUC Department of Technology

Electrical Engineering Technology Online

ET 438b Sequential Digital Control Systems and Data Acquisition

Course Author/Instructor
Dr. Carl J. Spezia PE
Associate Professor
Department of Technology

This course covers fundamental concepts and components used in computer-based data collection and sequential control systems. The course introduces sensors, signal conditioning, analog-to-digital, and digital-to-analog conversion devices used in data acquisition and control. Students will learn the characteristics of sequential digital processes and a methodology for designing this type of process control. Relay logic diagrams are covered and used to implement these designs. Students will also learn the structure and operation of programmable logic controllers. The course examines programming and interfacing external sensor to the programmable logic controllers. A laboratory demonstrates the lecture topics and gives students experience in programming with a data acquisition and control language and ladder logic programming. Laboratories activities demostrate practical applications of data acquisition and sequential control programming. This course covers topics leading to careers in process industries, and engineering design firms.Prerequisite: ET 438a, ENGR 222b or CS 202




Introduction to Control System Technology, 7th. Edition, Robert N. Bateson.

LabVIEW 2009 Student Edition, Robert H. Bishop.


Industrial Controls and Manufacturing, E. W. Kamen.

Required Software:

This course uses software packages to design and operate sequential control systems and data collection applications in research and industry. The LabVIIEW software by National Instruments allows users to rapidly develop user interfaces and data collection and control applications in both industrial and research settings. The software uses a graphical programming structure where building blocks are interconneted on the screen instead of text-based statements.. Student versions of this software are available. Follow this link to access ta vender that supplies student versions of the program. 

Programmable Logic  Controller study and programming requires a software provided free by the manufacturer for the basic functionality package.  The latest version of the software is a large package that can be downloaded from here along with other resourses.  This link is the version referenced in the course materials  These is very larger downloads, over 2 gigabytes and will take a very long time to download. A CD of the latest version can be ordered from the manufacturer.  This software will be required in the last eight weeks of the course.

This course also utilizes circuit simulation software distributed by Cadence Design Systems.  A student version of the OrCad PCB Designer Lite software is available from this site.  This software is a suite of software packages that provide Pspice circuit simulation and printed circuit board design capabilities.  The lite version is has limitations, but they will not imped use in this course.

Students should obtain and install these software packages as soon as possible.  Homework and lab activities require the use of these tools.

What Next?

You need to access the course syllabus from this page or from Desire2Learn, then view the instructor’s introduction video.

Emergency Procedures

SIUC is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for study and work. Because some health and safety circumstances are beyond our control, we ask that you become familiar with the SIUC Emergency Response Plan and Building Emergency Response Team (BERT) program. Emergency response information is available on the BERT website at, Department of Public Safety’s website (disaster drop down) and in the Emergency Response Guidelines pamphlet. Know how to respond to each type of emergency.

Instructors will provide guidance and direction to students in the classroom in the event of an emergency affecting your location. It is important that you follow these instructions and stay with your instructor during an evacuation or sheltering emergency. The Building Emergency Response Team will assist your instructor in evacuating the building or sheltering within the facility.