PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) are very small industrial computers. They have modular components that are specifically designed to take customized control processes and automate them. Industrial plants and factories are where PLC programming is most commonly needed to control different motors, pumps, valves, breakers and more.
Let’s take a deeper look into Programmable Logic Controllers and PLC Programming.
History of PLCs
The first programmable logic controller came along in 1968 and replaced complicated electromechanical relay circuits that were used in the early to mid 1900s in industrial plants. Engineers and technicians found the PLCs easier to navigate, program, and use.
Before PLCs were introduced, those complicated electromechanical relay circuits were used for automation in factories. The problem? It could take thousands of relays to automate a simple factory process. Which means if one thing needed to be changed in the circuit, it wouldn’t be a simple task.
The first PLCs introduced had limitations when it came to speed and memory, however they were quickly improved over the years. PLCs really helped set the stage for industrial automation and helped it become what it is today.
How Do PLCs Work?
PLCs are strong and complex computers and although there are many different components to PLCs, there are three important parts that operate together – CPU (Processor), Inputs, and Outputs. The CPU is what makes the desired action occur. The Inputs and Outputs are kind of like signals that relay information to the CPU and tell it what to do. Here is a step by step of the process:
- The CPU monitors the Inputs (Valve 50% open, turn on switch etc.)
- The CPU takes information from the Inputs and performs action.
- The CPU then operates the logic from the outputs. (turn off motor etc.)
Inputs and Outputs can be a variety of different actions such as turn sensors on/off, open/close valves, turn switches on/off, activate heating elements and so much more. And when you need to make a change, they can be easily reprogrammed to fit new processes.
RL Consulting is Your PLC Programming Integrators
We are an expert electrical control design company specializing in PLC Programming and Control Systems Integration. With almost two decades of experience in the control design industry, we can develop new control systems entirely, or add to pre-existing systems. We can help talk through your goals and deliver a solution in a timely and professional manner that you will be pleased with.
For more information, contact RL Consulting here.