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Design Of A Programmable Logic Controller Trainer

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.167.1 - 4.167.8

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Paper Authors

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William Cavey

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Kenny Fotouhi

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Ali Eydgahi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1620


Mohammad Fotouhi, Ali Eydgahi, William Cavey

Electrical Engineering Technology/Engineering and Aviation Sciences University of Maryland Eastern Shore Princess Anne, MD 21853


This paper presents the design of a flexible teaching trainer that has incorporated the Allen Bradley commercial SLC-503 programmable logic controller (PLC) into its system. The system consists of many modules including a digital input/output module, an analog voltage/current input module, and an analog to digital conversion output module.

The trainer has several support materials. It comes with a shielded programming cable which connects the computer’s RS-232 port to the trainer’s RS-232 port. The user can write a program using the Allen Bradley software. This software is based on the ladder logic diagram. The user gathers information about conditions of various inputs through computer program and then makes decisions based on the information to produce the required outputs for controlling the system. The trainer can be used online with a computer. This option sends data back to computer and allows almost real-time remote monitoring of the trainer. The manual of the trainer describes all the input and output options of the unit. The manual also presents a sample program that covers several programming options and provides the status of all memory locations. Along with the manual a 3.5" floppy disk is supplied. The disk contains the sample program listed in the manual. The trainer is designed with a powerful processor and is very flexible.

I. Introduction

A PLC is a digital controller that can be interfaced with industrial processes for control purposes1-2. It has discrete ON/OFF inputs for accepting various DC voltages and analog inputs for accepting voltage and current signals. Outputs can be in the form of ON/OFF DC and AC signals or as different DC voltage levels. Through computer programs status of various inputs can be identified and based on these information decisions are made to produce the required outputs for controlling a system.

Commercial educational PLC trainers are usually expensive and lack the flexibility of a complete PLC. They are commonly structured with fixed modules, limited interface options, and older PLC

Cavey, W., & Fotouhi, K., & Eydgahi, A. (1999, June), Design Of A Programmable Logic Controller Trainer Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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