PLCs are some of the few aspects of technology that automation may not phase out anytime soon. According to recent research, the market size of these devices is projected to grow from $11 billion in 2020 to up to $15.5 billion through 2026. This article discusses what these devices are and the reasons you may also want to consider PLC system integrators for your company.
What is PLC?
A PLC (programmable logic controller), also referred to as a programmable controller, is a ruggedized digital computer that has been programmed to govern industrial procedures, including robotic devices, assembly lines, plus other functions that require easy programming, reliability, and process fault tracing. It ranges from minor modular systems with tens of I/O to massive units with thousands of I/O that are sometimes connected to SCADA systems or other PLCs.
The PLC technology has been here for years. Devices like elevators, traffic lights, automatic doors, and amusement rides are some of its applications. Similarly, it continues to grow in popularity, with more companies adopting its application due to its robust design, simplicity, and cost-effectiveness.
How does It Work?
The PLC is a combination of four main components. The central processing unit (CPU) and the input/output (I/O) systems are the most significant parts of its operation. The CPU comes with memory storage that doesn’t lose data even when the machines shut down and a communication system that informs the PLC of what to process. Data processing and diagnostics also take place in the CPU.
On the other hand, the I/O constitutes both digital and analog devices that receive stimuli and display the response. Input devices may include sensors and switches, while output devices include valves, starters, or lights.
The system also has a power supply unit and a programmer. Most PLC power sources often fall in the 12-24VDC and 110-220VAC voltage ranges. The programming device, on the other hand, presents logic into the system and allows users to create, adjust or change the instructions sent to the processor.
The PLC requires programming to start functioning. Typically, the programs come scribed in the programming software or device. You’ll then need to download it to carry out the orders. Programming comes in various languages. However, Secured Text (ST), Function Block Diagram (FDB), Sequential Function Chart (SFC), Instructional List (IL), and Ladder Logic/Diagram (LD) are the standard options.
After logging the program into the device and picking the correct I/O system, the PLC processes the info (input), performs the instructions from the program, and then delivers (outputs) results depending on the information in the inscribed logic. After that, you can make changes, create or transfer within the software; then, the device will operate repetitively depending on your inputs and outputs.
What are the Benefits of PLC?
PLCs come with several advantages. First, the device is programmable, so technicians won’t have to keep changing the hardwire when switching between tasks. You’ll only need to reprogram the system, and you’re good to go. Similarly, the technology has multiple diagnostic tools to enable easy troubleshooting. Here are more reasons why you may consider PLC a part of your IIoT strategy.
- Ease of programming
• A robust collection of data
• Better communication
The primary goal of every organization is to make sales and generate profits. As a result, everyone is looking for solutions that can streamline operations and ensure robust productions. PLC offers the flexibility and speed that you may require to improve production.