Programmable Logic Controllers
A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a type of digital computer that is used to control many different functions that take within a factory or warehouse at a given time. Programmable logic controllers are responsible for many different activities including inputs, outputs, switches, sensors and relays. The first programmable logic controller was brought to market by General Motors in the late 1960s. Hard wiring has been more or less replaced by the wireless nature of programmable logic controllers.
What Is A Programmable Logic Controller?
A programmable logic controller allows the computer operating system to be programed to ensure other machinery is functioning at the right capacity and speed. If a company uses a programmable logic controller they will be able to have a lower error ratio and increased output. This eliminates the need for human management to ensure that production is running smoothly in many different aspects. The PLC can be programmed to be responsible for overseeing many different functions. Programmable logic controllers can be programmed in a few different ways including using a computer interface, networking and coding languages. Programmable logic controllers are extremely durable being able to withstand many extreme temperatures, forces, noise and impact. Many programmable logic controllers have a battery-backed up memory in case of a power outage so that it will not have to be reprogrammed.
What Industries Use Programmable Logic Controllers?
Programmable logic controllers are used in many different types of factories and machines. Programmable logic controllers are often used in manufacturing, automotive, packaging, food and beverage industries and warehouses. Programmable logic controllers can be designed to meet a company’s specific needs for production and task management. A company that is going to use a programmable logic controller needs to consider a wide variety of criteria. This criteria includes the number of points, channels and scan times that will need to be run. The amount of memory is also very important. There are also environmental, cost, labor and power options for companies to consider.
Programmable logic controllers can utilize real time systems. This allows companies to have input needs become output results in a time-sensitive manner. This prevents downtime which can cost a company money and time. Programmable logic controllers need to be monitored and cared for, but do not require someone who has all of the programming knowledge rather a service technician. This helps to keep labor costs down. Programmable logic controllers can oversee many different areas within a companies work flow including motion control, processes, networking and more. PLCs allow for companies to be very productive with little downtime in an automated way.