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Programmable Logic Controllers and Data Traffic Handling Solutions

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

A Technology Potpourri II

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


David Border Bowling Green State University

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David A. Border, Ph.D., holds a principle research interest in electronic information systems. This field includes digital communication and networking and intelligent networked devices. His work includes wireless sensor networks. Prior research included work on signal bandwidth compression and signal specific data encoding techniques. His technology application interest includes networked systems. Typical teaching duties include junior- and senior-level courses in the Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) program. Within this course set are the curriculum’s networking and communication courses. As is true with his ECET faculty colleagues, Border supports the program with teaching assignments, as needed, in freshman- and sophomore-level courses offerings. Examples of these include the sophomore level electric circuits and digital electronics courses. Border teaches a digital communication graduate course within a Ph.D. Consortium Technology Management program, as well as other graduate level courses at BGSU.

Border served as interim department chair of the Engineering Technologies department. He served as chair of the university Faculty Senate curriculum and academic affairs committee. He is chair of the University Faculty Senate.

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Today’s manufacturing industry depends on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). Throughout the industry, engineers are using these PLCs to collect and keep track of vast quantities data. There are many different ways that the industry uses to accomplish this task of retrieving and reporting useful data out of the PLCs. End-to-end transfers use large application tools, others use open software, and yet others use proprietary solutions. Incorporating laboratory instruction on the handling of such transfers in an educational laboratory has value. Making such capabilities available for senior project work has value. This project considers two very different strategies of monitoring and collecting PLC data for student instruction.

First considered, is the use of free demonstration software to implement an Industry standard solution that works with a broad number of devices. The software includes, but is not limited to, OLE for Process Control (OPC) software interface standard devices1,2.

Second considered, is the use of a proprietary application solution that provides a data logging tool enabled through its proprietary communication standard.

In each case, the data traffic source is a PLC. The data traffic destination is a Windows 10 computer. The PLC and PC share a LAN connection. All data traffic is over Ethernet.

The paper describes the setup of each strategy and ranks them for usability. The study looks at the positives, the downfalls and the limitations of each and estimates why one would be more appealing over the other. The study considers the ability of each to meet needs of PLC curricula and the need of PLCs in senior project and capstone courses.

1. Akelian, C. J. (2015, June), Incorporating SCADA Modules into Introductory Programmable Logic Controller Curriculum Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24280

2. Needler, M., & Jannotta, K. J., & Lin, W., & Pfile, R. (2004, June), Integration Of Enterprise And Industrial Networks In A Computer Engineering Technology Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Border, D. (2018, June), Programmable Logic Controllers and Data Traffic Handling Solutions Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30899

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