What Are Programmable Logic Controllers?

What Are Programmable Logic Controllers?

Programmable logic controllers (PLCs), sometimes called programmable controllers, are digital computers that are used for electromechanical automation. They provide machinery control in various industries. Amusement park rides, factory assembly lines and facility light fixtures are three examples.

Unlike general computers, PLCs can handle multiple input and output arrangements. They are designed for extended temperature ranges. They are immune to electrical noise, and they are resistant to impact and vibration. The programs that provide machinery control are usually stored in non-volatile memory storage with battery backup.

Before PLCs, manufacturers and other industries relied on electrical relays, cam timers, drum sequencers, closed-loop controllers and electricians who could manually rewire the systems when needed. Digital computers made industrial processes easier, but they still required specialist programmers and precise environmental control.

The early PLCs replaced relay logic systems with computer programs that reduced training demands for technicians. Modern PLCs can be programmed and adapted in numerous ways. Their functionality has evolved over the years to include a wide range of machinery control and networking options. These complex functions require training for electricians, maintenance technicians and other non-programmers.

American Trainco is an example of a company that delivers industrial training for workers in a variety of fields. In addition to programmable logic controllers, these companies offer courses on electricity and electrical safety, heating/ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), boiler operation and maintenance, plant management and more. To learn more about the PLC courses at American Trainco, visit http://www.americantrainco.com/plc-training/.

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