The Importance of PLC Education in 2019

When it comes to a programmable logic controller, it is essential to understand that the main components are processor, inputs, and outputs and everything is based on them.

These components work together to take inputs, perform logic on them and as the result that activates or deactivates outputs based on programming logic and input status.

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If we say that PLCs processor is like a brain to it, and we can easily compare it with human brain, then you will understand its effects and importance. The CPU contains logic that you implemented as well as communication and memory that will allow you to control it.

It functions in similar perspective when compared with human brain because it is source of memory, logical decisions and communications toward other parts of the body.

Logic

PLC program is stored in the processor, which means that the developer created a specific and customized program based on requests and preferences with the idea to automate machines used in the process facility or plant.

The programmed logic tends to detect different types of input states and based on them to activate or deactivate other output actions depending on programming you implement into it.

The programming logic is similar to other things that surround us, but the idea is to understand the application so that you can learn how CPU processes the programming methods.

It can easily be compared to the brain in the way it takes input signals such as sound, taste, smell, feel or sight and as a result it produces some output actions such as talking, gripping, reaching, stepping, etc. based on the programming your brain features.

However, we cannot talk about this particular analogy, because human brain adapts to new teachings and experiences when compared with fixed programming, so in the overall brain is a much more efficient machine, but in a pure sense, they operate similarly.

The conventional programming language for programmable logic controllers is ladder logic, and even latest controllers feature this particular language because it is convenient to use and make and it is appealing to electronic experts.

On the other hand, apart from this language, have in mind that you can program PLCs on other languages too such as SFC (Sequential Function Chart), ST (Structured Text), IL (Instruction List) and FBD (Function Block Diagram).

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Memory

The process that CPU regulates for the programmable logic controller is memory where programs and other data are stored both permanently and temporarily.

It resembles computer memory such as ROM and RAM, but still, when we compare it to the human brain, you should know that memory stores data permanently and temporarily, which will allow us to achieve multiple tasks such as riding skateboard you learned as a kid.

Communications

At the same time, apart from memory and logic, CPU performs and handles the connection between different parts of relay. It can be used through the USB port of the CPU module so that you can implement some instruction that you cannot find in original programming.

At the same time, you will be able to communicate through input and output modules, and other industrial automation devices through network types such as Ethernet, while most advanced can connect wirelessly.

If we continue to use the human brain analogy, you can compare PLC communications with communication of teachers to the brain and other parts of the brain and interaction with different brains as well.

Even though the brain is much more complicated than we are saying here and it is adaptable and robust when compared with the programmable logic controller, you will still be able to see similarities between these two operations.

In particular sense, you should understand the correlation between CPU and the human brain, and realize that PLC can be programmed to work with other mechanical equipment so that it can perform tasks other humans would do manually.

PLC-5 Controllers

This particular type of programmable logic controllers entered the market back at 1986, and it was the primary system for automation industry until the late 90s.

It is powerful controller that features heavy-duty enclosure, and it features built-in communication adapters that will give you the possibility to communicate with remote output and input modules.

Since it features this particular type of built-in communication adapters, have in mind that you can use various network connections such as DH+, Ethernet, ControlNet and many more.

It uses RSLogix 5, and since the very beginning, you will be able to find ones that feature amazing flexibility, power, and user-friendly programming software. You should have in mind that this particular system is not available anymore since 2017.

SLC 500 Controllers

The SLC 500 entered the market in 1991, and it was more affordable solution than PLC-5, which means that it was used for less complex and smaller applications and automation industry. They used programming software called RSLogix 500 that was also used for other PLCs as well.

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There is a significant difference between RSLogix 500 and 5, especially when it comes to user experience. This particular PLC features an excellent system if you wish to handle small applications, and even if you use it today, you will be able to perform well for most application.

Even though you can still find it on the market, most inputs and outputs, as well as communication modules have been discontinued, and it is just a matter of time when the industry will stop using this particular type of programmable logic controller.

Conclusion

As you can see from everything we have mentioned above, there are numerous things that you should learn about PLCs, and the best way to do it is to understand basic things about its brain or CPU.

Without CPU, it will not be able to function, and the idea is to familiarize yourself with all components so that you can learn how to program different applications because this particular career will be required in the future.