A cornerstone of automation, the programmable logic controller communicates, monitors, and controls the automated process. Whether you produce food and beverages or are in the manufacturing industry, the programmable logic PLC controller is an integral component of any automated processing system. Here, we will explore the beginnings of the PLC and how they have evolved throughout the years.
6 decades of PLCs
The first programmable logic controller was produced for General Motors in 1968. Dick Morley produced it to replace the unreliable, hard-wired relay logic systems that were being used in the manufacturing of General Motors’ automobiles. Morley’s PLC made reprogramming and updating simple. They were hardier, smaller, and easier, increasing production and quality. Soon, they were recognised for their potential and made their way into manufacturing and processing industries throughout the world. Now, nearly 60 years on programmable logic controller are used well beyond General Motors and the automotive industry. They are found in:
- Production plants
- Packaging machines
- Traffic light controls
- Lifts and elevators
- Automatic gate systems
- Heating control systems
- Medical applications
In today’s world, they are usually already built-in to the automated processing systems and machinery. They can carry out the instructions of the system’s computer program by understanding programming languages, they can perform basic mathematical and logical problems, they can control, and they have input and output operations. They can also be cloud-based, remote tools as well. Which makes PLCs flexible and adaptable to industry needs.
There are several types of programmable logic controllers on the market including: Hard, Soft, Compact, Slot, Unitary, and Modular PLCs. They also come with the option of:
- ST: Structured Text (text based)
- FBD: Function Block diagram (graphic-based)
- LAD: Ladder logic (graphic-based)
- STL: Statement List (text-based)
- SCL: Structured Control Language (graphic-based)
They can be upgraded with Din Rails, HMI displays, and they can be used in combination with communication modules or supervision control and data acquisition systems.
When it comes to buying programmable logic controllers for your business there are many things to consider. Unless you have an expert understanding of PLCs then getting it right can be a difficult prospect. If you don’t have that kind of expertise, then you need a respected programmable logic controller dealer to help you. We recommend going online or phoning one of the reputable team members at RS. They can give you more information, expert advice, and get you on your way to better communication, monitoring, and control of your automated processing system with a quality programmable logic controller.
When you are looking to upgrade or replace your automated system with better communication, control, and monitoring then the real-time programming of programmable logic controller is the step into the future your business needs. PLCs are reliable, built for the automated environment, and a great improvement on electromechanical relay systems. Contact a reputable dealer like the team at RS for more information and for somewhere to buy quality programmable logic controllers. Get the best out of your business with programmable logic controllers and RS.