In the world filled with the latest technological advancements and developments, the idea of using programmable logic controllers for handling the automation process is improving and evolving.
At the same time, it became an essential part of the automation and control system within the industrial environment.
We recommend you to watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5NgUc_dxlA to understand the basics on PLCs.
You should know that PLC or programmable logic controller is the robust computer or control device that performs sequential or discrete logic within the industrial settings.
Therefore, you will get a combination of hardware and software that act as the brain for automation control systems within the factories.
The technical definition states that PLCs are electronic devices that can easily store instructions and implement particular logic, arithmetic, counting, and timing operations to technical processes and other control machines.
You will get the device that can operate both manually or automatically, depending on the programming processes you wish to implement. It comes with numerous components that control it, which is something you need to remember before you enter the world of controllers.
Basic components include:
- Power supply
- CPU or central processing unit
- Input and Output Modules
- Communication protocols
- Memory system
Input and Output Modules
We can differentiate two types of input/output modules that you can use for PLC, including analog or digital, depending on your preferences. Like other machines that we use in industrial settings, the idea is to implement an input that will execute logic and lead to the output.
For instance, as soon as you press the button (input), the motor will start (output). The process that happens between these two processes is logic operation. You can use various output and input modules depending on what you wish to achieve.
Generally, input modules are used to provide a particular interface, which includes switches, sensors, and other execution factors.
On the other hand, output modules will create an interface because of logic and input, which can include relay, fan, motor, lamp, valve, buzzer, and other things.
Similarly, like any other electrical device, you will need a power supply to send the electronic signal and turn it on. Each device that operates around you requires some form of power supply; it does not matter whether it is a mechanical or electrical alternative.
The same thing goes for programmable logic controllers because they cannot operate without it. At the same time, the power supply is essential for all other components and their operation. It can be AC or DC, depending on the industrial settings and other factors.
Remember that most of them operate at 24VDC or 220VAC.
CPU or Central Processing Unit
As your household PC, the CPU is the heart and brain of the system that executes the logic you implemented and creates a stable connection between other components. Inside, you can store the programs you wish to implement to improve the overall efficiency.
Generally, you will be able to perform necessary input/output, controlling, logic, and arithmetic operations depending on the instruction you create. Each CPU comes with three subparts, including power supply, processor, and memory system.
Keep in mind that the memory system is responsible for retrieving information and data that you wish to execute along the way. You will be able to classify the memory by using the four sections as well as data that you wish to store inside.
Therefore, each PLC comes with these memory types:
- Executive memory
- User memory
- Data memory
- Input/output Image memory
The latest advancements brought us to a point where we can enjoy numerous communication protocols that will allow us to exchange data and information between various networks and devices along the way.
The idea is to implement a particular protocol that will affect your current execution that you implemented beforehand.
The Common Applications of Programmable Logic Controllers
Electrical Power Station
You should know that we could use PLC for distribution, transmission, and generation of the electrical power systems. It is also an effective way to detect, monitor, and control the problems, in particular, Smart Grid Systems.
Apart from that, you can sue it for other applications, including automatic reclosing, electrical substations, capacitor switching, circuit breaker tripping, and other instructions along the way.
Since we can use it in a smart grid system, it is an effective way to detect the substation as well as auto assembly lines.
You can use it in phase sequence monitoring and detection systems, which are sufficient for numerous situations. Finally, you can enjoy in fault protection and detection by using the sensors inside.
We have mentioned above that PLCs are perfect ways to control, monitor, manufacture, and handle the industrial environment as well as different machines and equipment across the vast array of niches.
That is the main reasons why PLC Training is popular nowadays especially because you can handle numerous jobs afterward.
The applications include automatic car washing system, conveyor belt system, machine handling system, automatic labeling and packing, industrial timer for various machines, automatic liquid filling, water level fuzzy control system, industrial temperature controller, and many more.
We have to mention that you can use it in commercial control applications, which is crucial because you will reduce the labor and other problems that may happen due to human factors.
At the same time, you can avoid paying severe overhead expenses for hard physical work and improve overall efficiency and productivity within your industry.
The typical applications include flashing light controlling system, fire detection, and alarms, automatic smart traffic signaling, smart elevators, roller coasters, automatic parking systems, automated guided vehicle systems, and many others, as you can see.