Automation is the control of machines and processes by independent systems through the use of various technologies.

This is a practical competition that will test your logic, design and fault finding skills related to automation in a challenging but enjoyable environment with a view to develop your automation skills further.

To complete the tasks, competitors are expected to apply their theoretical knowledge of fundamental principles of, automation, basic pneumatic and electro-pneumatic technologies and PLC technologies. The skills that are tested include:

  • Designing, building and testing pneumatic, electro-pneumatic circuits and PLC programmes for sequential and non-sequential tasks
  • Using appropriate sensors and actuators to build simple automated systems
  • Limited mechanical assembly and basic electrical wiring
  • Adding new functionality and operations to a given application
  • Visualisation of automation processes.

Full list of core competencies can be found in the Technical Handbook within the useful resources section.

Competitors who have taken part in the Automation competition are encouraged to consider taking part in Mechatronics or Industry 4.0 competitions in subsequent years, with a view to progress their skills set further and also benefit from having access to international competitions.

The skills you need to demonstrate

  • Problem solving

  • Attention to detail

  • Performance testing

  • Troubleshooting

  • Software programming

  • Test design

  • Configuration management

  • Agility

Entry criteria

  • This is a team activity (teams of two).
  • Team of competitors must have their own PLC and programming software for National Qualifier and National Final stages.
  • Competitors must be available for the National Qualifiers and National Finals.
  • There is no limit to the number of entries per organisation.
  • Competitors must be familiar with fundamentals of pneumatics, electro-pneumatics and PLC programming.

How it works

Our competitions are open to all so please register between 27 February – 24 March 2023

The first stage of competition is a remote or online test (where applicable)

Competitors take part in competitions in venues across the UK or online

Scores are quality assured and Finalists are announced

Competitors prepare and practise in readiness for the National Finals

The Finalists come together to compete in the National Finals

Our gallery

Contact details

Sign up to receive our latest updates to your email