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Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)


Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) Skills modules

This group of modules examines how the PLC is used to control the production process. Each module in this competency group builds on the one before it, giving you confidence as you develop your knowledge in a way that is logical and intuitive.

Programmable Controller Basics

This module introduces you to the PLC and explains how it is used as a low-cost and powerful alternative for directing and managing automated systems in various industries. Upon completion, you will be familiar with the typical applications of programmable controllers and understand the role and importance they play in automated processes (Estimated completion time: 1 hour).

Introduction to Digital Electronics

This module is designed to give you an understanding of how circuits work so you will better understand how a PLC operates. Upon completion of this module, you will be able to list the number systems, data types, and logic gates used by PLCs (Estimated completion time: 1.5 hours).

Types and Functions of Programmable Controllers

This module examines the various types and functions of PLCs being used in both residential and commercial settings (Estimated completion time: 0.8 hours).

General Structure of PLC

This module reviews how PLCs use specialized components that allow them to communicate with and control other equipment. Upon completion, you will be able to identify the main components of a generic PLC, the sub-components of each main component, and the various configurations of the main components (Estimated completion time: 1.4 hours).

Physical Integration of the PLC

This module summarizes how PLCs are integrated with machines to monitor and control automated processes through a series of electrical connections that allow them to receive, process, and send electrical signals. Upon completion of this module, you will be familiar with the various ways to provide electrical power to a PLC, and be able to identify the different ways of connecting sensors and devices to input and output modules (Estimated completion time: 1.3 hours).

Internal Structure of the CPU

This module is designed to provide an understanding of the components of the CPU and how they interact. Upon completion, you will be able to list the different sections of the CPU and their interactions, explain how data is processed and stored, and describe areas of memory and the elements of a logical address (Estimated completion time: 1.2 hours).

Basic Concepts of PLC Programming

This module explains how programming uses a set of instructions to tell the PLC what inputs to monitor, how to process the data, and how to respond to the inputs. Upon completion, you will be able to describe the four steps a PLC performs during an operation; recognize the symbols representing normally open and normally closed relays, as well as the two structures used for programming; and define various terms, including output scan, input scan, and program scan (Estimated completion time: 1.6 hours).

Common PLC Applications

This module provides examples of real world PLC operations, ladder logic, and GRAFCET programs used to control the PLC. Upon completion, you will be able to understand solutions for various applications using PLCs (Estimated completion time: 1.7 hours).