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Basics of Programmable Logic Controllers: What Do Employees Need to Know?


Basics of Programmable Logic Controllers: What Do Employees Need to Know?


Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) were invented in the 1960’s to combat the constant problems that were limiting the running of factory components. Before the advent of PLC’s, factories and industrial companies were using relay switches to run machines.

Relays were cumbersome and tripped faults easily which led to vast amounts of downtime in figuring out which switch tripped. Machines back then could have as many as 40 different relay switches and when one tripped, you had to locate the faulty switch by trial and error.

Richard Morley invented the PLC which used solid-state computing to dual-monitor both inputs and outputs. It was one of the first instances of solid-state computing in an industrial setting. PLC’s were used in automation and logic-based decisions for machines in production use. PLC’s really caught on and became ubiquitous in factories during the 1970’s and have remained every since. The durability and longevity of PLCs are evident to this day as they’re still being used in industrial settings.

Some of the Benefits of PLCs

The advent of PLC’s led to shorter downtimes, increased production, and less money being used to fix repairs to the machines. The plus of PLC’s are their durability, they are built like tanks and can withstand many environments that relay systems couldn’t. Moisture, dust, extreme temperatures, all of these were no match for a PLC system. PLC’s do have some flaws to its’ system, they can’t handle complex data and can’t display data without the use of an external monitor.

PLC’s are updated every year with small updates to the system and newer builds using smaller chips which lower power output and double computing power. These updates are one of the reasons that formal training on PLC’s should be implemented by the company. The information and training should reflect these changes and should be used every year.

Why You Should Always Train Workers and Refresh Your Team’s Knowledge

It’s a great help to have a crew with the latest knowledge on these systems as they change every year. Instituting a formal program to train workers and machine operators about PLC should be used by every company.

Proper training and troubleshooting procedures can show workers how to get the most out of their systems and how to troubleshoot problems as they occur. Knowing the procedures can help workers in limiting the amount of times that a work stoppage happens and maintenance being summoned to fix a fault with the machine.

With a trained and updated staff running the machines, the benefits are many to the company. Downtime will be reduced, production will be increased, and repairs will be limited to a bare minimum. Small repairs to the system can even be taught to your crew to limit the use of maintenance techs even further, a well-trained staff is a valuable staff and this business mantra will serve your company well in the future.

Are Your Workers In Need of Training?

To get your workforce and staff up to proper speed on PLCs, NTT Training offers an all-inclusive 3-day seminar on all of the facets of PLC and how it applies to your company’s workforce. From the basics to troubleshooting, this seminar will deliver quality information. This seminar will give your workforce the definitive statement on PLC machines and how to get the absolute best out of them. Contact NTT Training today to set your seminar up or to ask an agent any questions you may have.

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