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Programmable Logic Controllers: An Economical Method for Keeping This Important Curriculum Current

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology Projects and Applications

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.1184.1 - 22.1184.10



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Paper Authors


John Marshall University of Southern Maine

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John Marshall received his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University and is the Departmental Internship Coordinator at the University of Southern Maine. His areas of specialization include Power and Energy Processing, Applied Process Control Engineering, Automation, Fluid Power, and Facility Planning.

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Programmable Logic Controllers: An Economical Method for Keeping This Important Curriculum CurrentThe importance of a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) component in EngineeringTechnology curriculums is essential. The cost associated with developing or upgradingthis area can range from modest to the extremely expensive. This presentation willprovide participants with a strategic approach to creating a very workable PLC lab on aless than generous budget. An actual PLC module will be available for demonstration andinspection.Programmable logic controllers are used in every segment of industry where automationis required. This presentation and demonstration will identify specific components andprogramming software needed to develop a functioning PLC lab. Participants will leavewith a working understanding of these important devices as well as PLC labs withsolutions that can be implemented immediately.Major topics of the presentation will include: PLC familiarization is an essential skill forEngineering Technologist; PLCs represent one of the fasted growing segments of theindustrial electronics industry and have proven to be the solution for a variety ofmanufacturing applications which previously relied on electromechanical controlsystems; PLCs, unlike a general-purpose computer, are environmentally hardened tosurvive on a manufacturing plant floor; and PLCs are easily programmed with a graphicalladder logic and are easily interfaced with hydraulic, pneumatic, and electronic powersystemsIt is critical that the Engineering Technology graduate have a working understanding ofprogrammable logic controllers. PLCs can be a dedicated process control course orintegrated into an existing course such as fluid power, electronic control technology, orindustrial automation. Budget is not the big issue, rather a desire to provide yourstudents with this valuable insight.

Marshall, J. (2011, June), Programmable Logic Controllers: An Economical Method for Keeping This Important Curriculum Current Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18631

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