A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is an industrial computer that monitors inputs and outputs to make decisions based on the program stored to the PLC’s memory.
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The use of PLC’s help to reduce human decision-making "efforts" in order to gain higher efficiencies in Industrial Automation (IA).
(IA) is a set of technologies that uses control systems and devices, such as computer software and robotics, to enable automatic operation and control of industrial processes and machinery without the need for human operators.
Industrial automation eliminates the possibility of human error, reduces costs, saves time, and achieves higher performance.
Large, automated machinery built in the 1980s or earlier, typically came installed with multiple large electrical panels containing hundreds or even thousands of mechanical relays.
In a sense, a PLC can be considered a compact box containing tens of thousands of digital relays – though of course, they can handle tasks much more complex than binary (True False Or, And, Not) logic.
Instead of meticulously installing, wiring and maintaining relays prone to mechanical wear, a single PLC can replace all of this. The benefits of doing so are incredible in terms of cost (less money spent on relays, wire, floor space, etc.) and maintenance (a PLC can be swapped out with relative ease compared to tracing a dead relay).
The communication protocol is a set of rules that sends and receives data between two or more communicating devices.
The communication protocol act as a way between devices to connect and communicate with each other. Without communication protocol devices are just only connected with each other but they can’t be communicated with each other.
So we can say that the communication protocols which PLC is using to communicate with different field devices, programming devices, other PLCs as well as controllers, HMIs, SCADAs, VFDs, sensors are called PLC communication protocols.
VFDs, sensors are called PLC communication protocols.
The service of a machine to control the Pitch of a Ship's Propulsion Propeller.
By adding an automated control system with the use of a PLC. The machine is responsible for setting the shaft’s angle and changing the speed of the vessel without changing the RPM of the engine.
The control system reads a number of input signals from sensors, such as oil pressure, shaft angle, electric generator load, desired shaft angle.
These inputs are processed by the PLC and as a result, it controls the hydraulic directional valves and moves the CPP.
The system is constantly monitoring the values and adjusting them if it is required.
Automating the machine with a PLC made a very versatile and efficient system, easy to operate considering the complexity of the process.
PLC Control of Plasma Coating Process under High Vacuum.
A special machine generates plasma by creating a vacuum inside a chamber. Then a very small amount of gas is channelled into the chamber that changes phases from gas to plasma when its molecules become ionized.
In the chamber of plasma generators, objects inside get bombarded by plasma ions modifying the surface on a very small scale and a metalized coating is formed out of the fired elements.
The client's requirements were to automate the process with a PLC.
The PLC was responsible for controlling Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) via Ethernet/IP and MODBUS/TCP protocols connected to pumps to reach desired vacuum levels and to read from digital pressure gauges.
Apart from vacuum levels, the PLC controls and constantly monitors plasma processes, temperature adjustments using PIDs and flow control of water, argon and silica.
As a result, a quality product was obtained and the machine was tuned successfully for serial production.