Technology has moved on apace in recent years, with industry reliant upon the changes to keep up with the demands of production and to function safely both for its employees and the environment as climate change controls increase.
PLC controllers, or a programmable logic controller, is seen as a key component in many different industries. The control system has the ability to manage, command, direct, or regulate how a multitude of systems and devices perform through a system of control loops.
The PLC processes the information it receives and then executes the instructions from the program to deliver results based on the given data and written logic. It is invaluable in industries such as automobile plants, chemicals, the energy sector and steel manufacturing for several valuable reasons.
- A PLC processor is easy to program, meaning individuals with even passing knowledge will be able to programme a PLC, while provided with simple methods such as Ladder or Boolean. Troubleshooting is also easy compared to other systems.
- Flexibility is an invaluable asset of the controllers as one model of PLC can be used for several different operations through hardware abstraction, allowing the resets of routines in software, through its multifunctional capability.
- Having the availability of a large number of contacts, which are discrete programming elements within the system and are used to institute change in different applications.
- An outstanding feature which attracts industry towards using PLC controllers is its cost effectiveness, as the large production and advance in technology means it is less expensive than other relay based or controller systems on the market. Hardware and wiring costs are also reduced and the required space for installation is reduced.
- The PLC controllers’ simulation feature allows for the verifying algorithms along with the method of being able to design the required program which is used by default.
- Having data is invaluable to a programmer. A PLC can be instructed to print out its programs for further use and to allow for changes in strategy.
- Further to the value for money offered by the installation of a PLC controller, it also has low maintenance costs when compared to relay based or micro-controller based systems and the lack of wiring makes servicing easier.
A PLC controller is an excellent choice of control system used in the process industry. It offers a modular and flexible setup, which allows for the expansion of hardware and software elements when the application necessitates change.