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Introduction to PLC: Know How to Program with Ladder Logic


Introduction to PLC: Know How to Program with Ladder Logic

The continued abundance of the modern industrial businesses depends on automation. The ability to produce large amounts of goods in a fast and cost-effective way is a definite advantage to manufacturers. Programmable Logic Controllers and Ladder Logic facilitate the manufacturing process by increasing accuracy and predictability while lowering overall investment. What is a PLC? What is Ladder Logic? How can you use these tools to increase efficiency in your manufacturing processes?

Defining PLCs

PLCs, or programmable logic controllers, are computers specifically designed to control manufacturing equipment like assembly lines and robotic devices. These rugged machines give manufacturers the ability to program and control automated equipment with a high degree of accuracy. This means processes become more predictable. PLCs support consistent high-quality production while reducing the need for human input, which saves labor costs.

PLCs also make it easier to work in environments or with materials that can be hazardous to human health. High heat, corrosive substances, and moving components all present a possible danger to the well-being of workers. PLCs allow manufacturers and technicians to access these spaces without getting hurt. Companies can use PLCs to perform operations that wouldn’t be possible without them. In this way, PLCs remove a large restriction on the potential growth of many industries.

Defining Ladder Logic

Ladder Logic is the programming language used to operate PLCs. Ladder Logic was invented to help manufacturers keep track of relay racks and devices while assembling process lines. A diagram would show each device and its connections to other system components. The name comes from the fact that the diagrams produced from Ladder Logic programming look like physical ladders.

Today, Ladder Logic is a graphical representation of the circuits that make relay hardware function. It helps computer programmers develop software for PLCs that control hardware and automated functions. This allows programmers to institute a high degree of flexibility in automated processes. Ladder Logic allows businesses to create products at higher speeds and lower costs.

Practical Applications of PLCs and Ladder Logic in Industrial Settings

Businesses use PLCs and Ladder Logic every day to increase efficiency, realize greater profits, and expand their technical abilities. Here are some of the ways these tools can improve your daily operations.

  • Aerospace manufacturers use PLCs for water tank quenching systems. These vital systems keep radioactive and unstable substances cool and under control.
  • In the textile industry, PLCs programmed with Ladder Logic are used in washing and shrinking systems. Thanks to this technology, the textile industry was able to produce an estimated $76 billion in fibers and apparel in 2015.
  • Food producers use PLCs to feed and water millions of stock animals without the need for massive amounts of human labor. They are also used to control greenhouse heating and ventilation cycles.
  • Businesses that serve the travel industry use PLCs to safely control systems as well as escalator and lift technologies that help move people safely onto planes, ships, and trains. Other entertainment-sector businesses use them for motorized amusements like roller coasters.

PLCs and Ladder Logic are highly customizable technologies. Together, they solve many production issues for businesses of all sizes and purposes.

PLCs, Ladder Logic, and Your Business

If your business uses automated systems, PLCs and Ladder Logic could help you increase your output. Are your engineers and technical staff able to take full advantage of this technology? The PLC: Programmable Logic Controllers seminar from NTT Training is designed to prepare maintenance technicians and engineers to work with PLCs in an industrial setting. This 3-day, on-site training teaches the fundamentals of Ladder Logic programming and how to use that knowledge to maximize the usefulness of PLCs in the daily operations of their companies.

Are you ready to see what Ladder Logic can do for your business’ bottom line? Contact our representatives today to schedule an upcoming session.

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