Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Electronic Engineering Technology

Research Sponsor

Samuel Mastromatteo

First Reader

William Mayhew

Second Reader

Andrew Milks


This project set out to use a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) to control a water pump to maintain the water level in a tank at a desired setpoint. A proximity sensor is mounted above the upper reservoir to detect the distance to the water level from the sensor, which will be communicated back to an Allen-Bradley CompactLogix PLC. To control the water level, an AC variable speed drive, that can receive instructions from the PLC, is connected to a water pump that will ramp up the RPM as the water level drops below the setpoint to bring it back to the set normal level, and will slow down the rpm as the water level gets closer to the setpoint. The PLC was programmed using software called RSLogix 5000, produced by the Allen-Bradley company, so that the proximity sensor can trigger the pump to start and begin pumping water into the main tank as it is drained. The RSLogix design would be limited to only this tank and pump, however, all of the PLC equipment could be repurposed to be used in a wide variety of applications.