Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Basics

SKU: C-782Duration: 14 Minutes

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Language:  English

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Course Details


Training Time: 14 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English

A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a computer that is designed to be used in industrial applications. The PLC has a specialized operating system that carries out a set of user instructions over and over again. This course will discuss what a PLC is as well as common PLC components and applications.

Learning Objectives

  • State the purpose of a PLC
  • Describe the hardware elements that make up a PLC
  • Describe the operation of a PLC
  • Differentiate between the operational modes of a PLC
  • List different techniques for programming a PLC
  • List the advantages of ladder logic
  • Describe the purpose of a rung in ladder logic

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What does PLC stand for?
PLC stands for Programmable Logic Controller.

What are the main components of a PLC?
PLCs have many different physical implementations but all have the same conceptual layout. The main components of any PLC include an input module, a central processing unit (CPU), an output module, and a power supply.

Can PLCs be used for different industries?
Yes. PLCs are used in a variety of industries and come in many different forms and sizes to accommodate the needs of the user. This can take the form of small, hand-sized, single-enclosure units to larger, more modular units for industrial processes.

What is Ladder Logic?
Ladder logic is a programming language based on the electrical ladder-like schematic diagrams that were used to describe electromechanical relay logic. Ladder logic provides a visual representation of the logic flow which helps with both initial programming and subsequent troubleshooting.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

PLC input modules accept electrical inputs from process components in the field, and convert that information into a computer compatible data file. Historically, PLCs have dealt with logical binary information such as whether something is running or not running, whether a switch or relay is open or closed. Digital input cards usually apply a technique, such as optical isolation, to prevent any line-level voltages coming into the module from damaging low voltage circuitry in the module. While working with digital signals is a large part of what PLCs do, they can also work with analog signals. Analog input cards use A/D converters to convert electrical input signals into scaled computer-compatible digital values. Each input card has a set of input terminals and a set of LEDs that indicate the status of each input channel.
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