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What are Programmable Logic Controllers: What Should My Employees Know?


What are Programmable Logic Controllers: What Should My Employees Know?

Unless you’re in a career in industry, manufacturing, and technology, there’s a great possibility that you don’t know what a programmable logic controller (PLC) is or what they do. But to people that work in those industries, PLC’s make their manufacturing plants, assembly lines and other repetitive activities run smoothly and efficiently.

In short, they are responsible to automating some of the critical functions that industrial and manufacturing facilities rely on to meet production schedules and streamline workflows. In many cases, they are working in environments that that would be too hazardous for human workers.

What are PLCs and How Do They Benefit Those Working in Various Industries?

PLCs are computer devices used in industrial control systems applications. PLC’s are made to withstand harsh or dangerous environments such as extreme temperatures, vibrations, electrical noise, moisture and humidity. PLCs are special purpose digital computers and microprocessor-based unit that is programmed to trigger and control sequential programmable memory that controls sequencing, timing logic arithmetic and counting actions. For instance, traffic lights are a great example of how PLCs are used. PLC’s perform single tasks with reliability in real-time scenarios.

PLCs can be used in areas where humans wouldn’t be adaptable and they are also very low cost as when the project changes, the application can be changed by just changing the software. This also makes it easier to use, since with PLCs you don’t have to change the hardware components as needed with different micro-controller systems.

Is PLC Training Needed for Your Team?

In many businesses, it is important to consider continuing education for employees to make sure they are trained in the newest technologies. Advances are always happening and being able to monitor, program and fix PLCs are of critical importance in keeping assembly lines and other uses within the industrial/manufacturing arena working at peak performance.

Some of the key learnings to consider, when looking for a PLC seminar for those just starting out or, as continuing education, should be:

  • Determining if the machine is working properly, and if not, finding out what is wrong with it
  • Determining the return on investment of the PLC
  • Developing HMI projects
  • Review of ladder logic fundamentals
  • Troubleshoot PLC/HMI communication problems and repair, if possible
  • Program and monitor signals
  • Create PLC/HMI tag data
  • Lean the PLC capabilities
  • Develop real-time fault messaging

These are key skills that any PLC administrator should know in order to be proficient in the job.

Those that should consider taking a seminar focused on PLC training include anyone that works on control systems as part of their daily function. These include:

  • Engineers, maintenance, operations and management teams
  • IT technicians
  • Instrumentation Technicians
  • Maintenance Technicians
  • Automation Technicians
  • Any others that would benefit from cross-training

Is PLC Training Worth the Investment?

Just like anything that brings long-term value, there is a cost for PLC training and a good, thorough course usually last at least 2-3 days, so your team will be out for that period of time. The benefit is that following the training session, they will come out with added knowledge of:

  • PLC Architecture
  • Input and Output Systems
  • Ladder Logic vs. Relay Logic
  • Relay-type Instructions
  • Addressing, Data Memory and Scan Time
  • Number Systems
  • Sizing and Selection PLCs
  • Hands-on Lab Exercises

Where to Send Your Team for Added PLC Training?

If you’ve decided that PLC training is the right course of action for your team, then there is no better option than NTT Training. We offer expert, practical, hands-on training to skilled trade workers around the world. Some of the most comprehensive, skills-based seminars available.

Don’t delay, find out more information about NTT Training and how your team can benefit from the added skills and knowledge they will gain from their seminars. Connect with a representative today to schedule your session.

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