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Programmable Logic Controllers

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Covers the basic hardware and operating principles of PLCs, their inputs and outputs, programming, maintenance/troubleshooting, and networking. 


Lesson 1 - Introduction to Programmable Logic Controllers


The Electromagnetic Relay; Characteristics of Programmable Controllers; Applications of Programmable Controllers; Limitations of Programmable Controllers; Parts of a Programmable Logic Controller System; The Input Side; The Processor; The Output Side; Programming Devices; Power Supplies

Learning Objectives:
– Describe an electromagnetic relay and define the terms control circuit, power circuit, NO and NC.
– Define programmable logic controller.
– Describe the general type of application in which a programmable logic controller would best be used, and give examples.
– Define scan time.
– Name each of the blocks in a block diagram of a programmable logic controller system and explain how each functions within the system as a whole.
– Define memory and explain the different types.

Lesson 2 - Number Systems and Logic


Number Systems; Binary-Coded Decimal (BCD); ASCII; Gray Code; Boolean Logic; Ladder Logic

Learning Objectives:
– Compare the decimal, binary, octal, and hexadecimal number systems.
– Explain the purpose for using each of the following: BCD, Gray code, and ASCII.
– Explain what AND, OR, and NOT mean in Boolean logic, and identify the symbols for each.
– Identify AND and OR logic circuits in a relay ladder diagram, and construct a truth table for each.
– Explain the basic concepts of ladder logic.

Lesson 3 - Programming the System


PLC Programming; Ladder Logic Programming; Boolean Programming; The AND Instruction; The OR Instruction; The Stack Register

Learning Objectives:
– Explain the relationship between a programmable logic controller processor and program.
– Define the term scan and explain the basic steps involved in a scan.
– Explain the basic concepts of ladder logic programming.
– Explain the purpose of a parallel branch in a ladder logic program.
– Explain the basic concepts of Boolean programming.
– Define stack register and state the stack rule.

Lesson 4 - Input/Output Devices and Modules


Definition of I/O Devices; Discrete Input Devices; Analog Input Devices; Digital Input Devices; Discrete Output Devices; Analog Output Devices; Digital Output Devices; Sourcing and Sinking; Definition of I/O Modules; Input Modules; Output Modules

Learning Objectives:
– Explain the operation of common input and output devices and identify their symbols.
– Describe the relationship of an input/output device to a terminal on an input/output module.
– Contrast the basic concepts of a sourcing device and a sinking device.
– Explain the operation of various input and output modules.

Lesson 5 - Developing a Programmable Logic Controller System


Before You Begin; Equipment Operation Specifications; Sizing the System; Program Development; Assembling the Documentation Package; Functional Model; Startup and Debugging

Learning Objectives:
– Explain the importance of working with accurate information from a specification.
– Demonstrate how to size a system.
– List the elements in a good documentation package.
– Name the steps involved in specifying the hardware and developing the program for a simple control system.
– Describe system startup and debugging procedures.

Lesson 6 - Maintenance and Troubleshooting


The Importance of Documentation in Maintenance Troubleshooting; Using the Hardware Documentation; The Maintenance Log; Using the Program Documentation; Operational Documentation; Routine Maintenance; Batteries; Troubleshooting; Problems in Troubleshooting; Troubleshooting in Practice

Learning Objectives:
– Explain the importance of good documentation.
– Tell what type of information can be found in user’s manuals and operations manuals.
– Tell what types of logs are kept and why they are necessary.
– Explain the major concepts of troubleshooting, including problems sometimes encountered.
– Describe routine maintenance procedures required by a programmable controller system.

Lesson 7 - System Expansion and Data Networks


I/O Expansion; Configuring the System; Math and Data Handling Instructions; Timers and Counters; The Shift Register; Spray Booth Retrofit; Indexing Table Retrofit; Local Area Networks; Uses for LANs; Transmission Media; Transmission Schemes; Vendor Offerings

Learning Objectives:
– Compare the procedures involved in local and remote I/O expansion.
– Explain what is meant by configuring a system.
– Describe the operation of the shift register instruction.
– Explain how math and data-handling instructions work and why they are added to PLC systems.
– List important items to consider in I/O expansion and retrofitting.
– Define the terms local area network, baud rate, and throughput.
– List and explain the contents of a data packet used in LAN data transmission.
– Name and define the three main applications of LANs.
– List advantages and disadvantages of the three common transmission media used with LANs.

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