Programmable Logic Controller or (PLCs) are digital computers especially designed for automations, controlling machinery and factory assembly lines. They are now a commonly used in industrial automation techniques. This control device differ from general-purpose computers, they are mainly designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements. Its programming is done using a specialized computer language which ranges from ladder logic, IEC 61131-3 standard, Mnemonic instruction, Sequential Function Charts (SFC), Structured Text (ST), Function Block Diagram (FBD), to Basic or C which can be later stored in batteries or in non-volatile memory. The ladder logic technique allows it to take actions in a sequence mode which makes it user friendly even to those who are untrained to operate on these computer-based machines. Each program works depending on the user’s written specification regarding on the sequence and timing of course of action to be done by the machine.
In its early years, automation system requires the use of over thousands of different individual relay systems. Now, it’s functions have advanced, PLCs now are microprocessor based and are created for real-time use to replace relay controls, timers, motion control and other such complexities making it available in one multi-functioned device. It is also operated using either a variable (analog) output or input device such as an ON and OFF. Although, with the current use of electricity on relays, it can be automatically switched on or off without a mechanical switch.
Among its many benefits, the PLC is very flexible. One machine can now perform several functions and control different programs in one manipulation. It is very cost-effective since errors and changes can now be easily altered through changing the circuit designs, or sequence. Monitoring is assured with its on-going monitoring of ongoing processes, making trouble-shooting and maintenance easier. It is also space efficient since memory’s nowadays are getting bigger and many program systems can be put up in a single PLC. Its durability has been also one of its merits since it can withstand extreme conditions such as heat, dust, moisture and others. Also, productivity can be increased due to this enhanced system as well as reduction of operator cost, and the increasing of safety for human workers are among PLCs advantages.
There are different varieties of Programmable Logic Controller that are available in the market nowadays. Since it was first created for the purpose of automobiles, it remains to be on its current trend of popularity on the equipment industry mainly because of its advantages, multi functions and ability to operate under harsh environments. There are now different PLCs to suit most if not all of the machines you need. Installation, tutorial and modification of PLCs are also provided in the market for those who are willing to acquire such devices for your system. It is convenient, cost-effective and easily modified for whatever special purpose the user prefers.