PLC software that is used for programming is available from a variety of vendors. Faster program development time and simplified system installation and set up are two of the most basic demands for today’s industrial automation solutions. Quick and simple is what people are after so that the business in question can get on with their goal and not waste time with intricate and unnecessary PLC software installation.
Looking At PLC Software In More Detail
Ideally PLC software when implemented should – among other things – enable the following:
- Intuitive user interface
- fast project development
- data exchange
- economic PLC programming
- reduced learning curve
- transparency of variables
- cost reduction
Modicon PLC Software
Modicon PLC software design is a well known and reliable option.
- Modicon software comes with the bonus of Windows compatibility (designed and tested under Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, Millennium, and XP).
- It also has processor support, which supports the entire line of Modicon processors including 584s, 984s, Compacts, Micros, Quantums and Momentums.
- It is fast with a full 32-bit implementation that guarantees fast product on the market.
- Fastest upload/download, logic status, data updates, cross reference, printouts, etc.
- Modicon software is secure, it has full administrator/user driven, password security controlling access to multiple functional levels (i.e. online and offline editing, I/O forcing, loading, saving changes to disk, PLC operations, and documentation editing). And is designed to meet FDA rule 21 requirements.
- Modicon software allows for file Imports. For example, PLC WorkShop allows for easy upgrade with import or conversion from Modicon’s Modsoft & Concept, Taylor’s ProWorx Plus & NXT, GraySoft’s GSCOMMS & GSWINGS, DMC and UpDoc.
- SCAD and PLC compatibility is important. Modicon software has built-in SCADA capabilities – Data Logger and Trender with high speed, reliable OPC communications.
- Fully ControlShop compatible and upgradable. Modicon software provides regular product updates that are available by convenient download from the FasTrak website. Provide them with your email address and they will drop you a note whenever a new release is available. Remember to look at PLC simulators for training. These simulators offer a cheaper solution to training staff and students.
PLC programs are typically written in a special application on a personal computer, and then downloaded by a direct-connection cable or over a network to the PLC. The program is stored in the PLC either in battery-backed-up RAM or some other non-volatile flash memory.Often, a single PLC can be programmed to replace thousands of relays.
IEC 61131-3 currently defines five programming languages for programmable control systems:
- FBD (Function block diagram)
- LD (Ladder diagram)
- ST (Structured text, similar to the Pascal programming language)
- IL (Instruction list, similar to assembly language)
- SFC (Sequential function chart)
These techniques emphasize logical organization of operations. While the fundamental concepts of PLC programming are common to all manufacturers, differences in Input/Output addressing, memory organization and instruction sets mean that PLC programs are never perfectly interchangeable between different makers. While it seems that they should be, it is not the case as different brands add their own special add ons to make their PLCs unique. Even within the same product line of a single manufacturer, different models may not be directly compatible. The same applies for PLC software programs.
Online PLC Training Discussed
Online PLC Training is an online course which educates students on how to run programmable logic control (PLC). The course, which is available through several different vendors, has something in it for everyone from beginners through to practitioners wishing to brush up on their basic skills. The training course covers the Programming fundamentals and Professional Programming techniques as used in Industrial Engineering worldwide. Online PLC Training is used by newcomers just beginning their training as well as trained practitioners wishing to further their existing knowledge.
Online PLC Training History
The PLC came into existence due to the needs of the US automotive manufacturing industry and has since then led to the industrial automation plc. Programmable logic controllers were initially adopted by the automotive industry where software revision replaced the re-wiring of hard-wired control panels when production models changed. With the advents of the plc came the existence of plc training.
Online plc training is very popular and important as PLCs are becoming more and more intelligent and complex at an ever increasing rate. In recent years PLCs have been integrated into electrical networks i.e. all the PLCs in an industrial environment have been plugged into a network which is usually hierarchically organized. The PLCs are then supervised by a control centre.
What Is A PLC Center?
The PLC center, which is best understood through correct PLC training.
- Is a purpose-built machine with a control computer designed to read digital and analogue inputs from various sensors, execute a user defined logic program, and write the resulting digital and analogue output values to various out put elements like hydraulic and pneumatic actuators, indication lamps, hooters, solenoid coils etc.
- The PLC is in essence a digital computer which is used to enable electromechanical processes to occur automatically without buttons being pushed or switches being flipped.
- Instances where such automates electromechanical processes could be used include on factory assembly lines, with amusement rides, or lighting fixtures.
- PLCs are used in many industries and machines and thus PLC programming has become very important to ensure that all the machines function correctly.
While not all PLCs are the same, the majority of PLCs do subscribe to the generic ‘scan-cycle’ format, which can be broken down in
- input scan
- logic execution
- output scan
Overhead includes testing I/O module integrity, verifying the user program logic hasn’t changed, that the computer itself hasn’t locked up (via a watchdog timer), and any necessary communications. The input scan is a summary of the digital and analogue values present at the input cards. The information is saved to an input memory table, which is followed by the logic execution. The length of a ‘scan cycle’ range substantially from hundreds of milliseconds through to a few milliseconds on newer PLCs.
Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for
- multiple inputs and output arrangements
- extended temperature ranges
- immunity to electrical noise
- and resistance to vibration and impact
The processes are complex and in order to fully understand them with as much ease as possible, online plc training is often used by practitioners and has become very popular. A PLC is an example of a real time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a bounded time, otherwise unintended operation will result.