PLC or Programmable Logic Controller is a special computer device used for industrial control systems. In other words, it is an industrial computer built to withstand harsh conditions. Programmable Logic Controllers are used to controlling devices by monitoring a series of varied inputs and manipulating the output to reflect the desired control/effect. A Programmable Logic Controller has become an inevitable part of industries today.
PLC contains a programmable (changeable) memory wherein a sequence of instructions is stored. Those instructions enable the PLC to undertake different kinds of control functions like relay logic, counting, timing, sequencing, and arithmetic computation, among others. The main advantage of using a PLC is that it brings in a lot of flexibility. It is programmable without losing its reliability. It means that none of the programs crash or encounter mechanical failures. As the traditional control systems are susceptible to crashes and mechanical failures, the PLC holds a definitive advantage over them.
Types of PLCs
PLCs come in varied shapes and sizes. They could be small enough to fit in your shirt pocket whereas some of the more sophisticated controls systems might require large PLC racks. However, these days the PLCs are programmed with specialised software. One of the most common forms of programming is Ladder Logic and it involves the use of symbols rather than words. As PLCs are programmable, a single PLC can replace thousands of relays and timers with just one program.
PLC can be designed to run the single program at a very high speed, thereby reducing the response time drastically for any events under its control. For instance, a programme can be used to control a machine producing a certain number of units per hour. PLC can be designed to increase this number – say from 20000 to 30000 units an hour by changing a single program.
Because of this flexibility, it is possible to use PLCs across a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, travel, aerospace, printing, textiles, agriculture, and film, among others. It is safe to say that wherever there’s automation, there’s likely to be a PLC or a set of PLCs at work!
PLCs are especially useful for applications in the manufacturing field. They are found in the control room helping the operators control the devices and process better. Some major manufacturing industries that use PLCs are:
- Steel plants
- Glass manufacturing units
- Power industry
- Food processing units
- Bottling plant
- Conveyor control systems
Apart from these industrial uses, PLC is used in several civilian devices and applications too. For instance, your traffic control systems, elevators, burglar alarms, automatic parking systems, automatic tank filling systems, home automation, and much more use PLC.
If you are looking for high-quality PLCs and other industrial computing devices at reasonable prices, click here. There are several options based on mounting type, programming interface, the programming language used, and network types, among others. There is a wide range of leading global brands to choose from and you can avail good deals on bulk orders.