Charlotte, North Carolina
June 20, 1999
June 20, 1999
June 23, 1999
4.599.1 - 4.599.8
Web-based Programming Guide for Allen Bradley PLCs
James A. Rehg Penn State Altoona
Programmable logic controllers (PLC) concepts are taught in many Electronic Engineering Technology programs. However, the task is made more difficult by current industry practices. For example, every PLC vendor has a different programming environment, a different command set, and uses documentation that is not addressed to new users of the technology. This variation in PLCs is a difficult instructional problem to solve. However, this paper describes a web site developed to overcome the third problem, availability of good resource material for teaching laboratories equipped with Allen Bradley SLC 500 PLCs. The web site provides the following program development support: 1) an introduction to the SLC 500; 2) an overview of the command structure used in PLCs and the SLC 500 in particular; 3) discussion of the hardware interface for the SLC family of modules; 4) SLC 500 command reference and definitions accessible by symbol, name, or command group; 5) command syntax and example ladder logic programming applications; 6) introduction to programming; 7) introduction to development of human machine interfaces; and 8) laboratory exercises. The paper describes the development and use of this site in teaching introductory and advanced PLC laboratories.
The programmable logic controller (PLC) has become the most frequently used computer for industrial control. Since its introduction in the early 70s, the technology has evolved from an electronic replacement for relay logic to a versatile shop-floor computer capable of handing a number of control problems. The discrete control solutions range from simple start/stop logic to systems including thousands of discrete signals. The closed-loop control applications include control of position and velocity, as well as a full range of continuous process parameters such as temperature, flow, level, and pressure. As a result of the rapid growth of PLC applications in industry, individuals with PLC ladder logic program design, implementation, and system troubleshooting skills are in high demand by manufacturers using the PLC technology and by systems houses doing turn-key system development. Recognizing the need for graduates with PLC experience, two- and four-year engineering technology programs across the United States have added PLC courses and laboratories.
The issues associated with the development of a PLC course and laboratory include: absence of a standard for PLC languages, dearth of vendor-specific instructional materials, cost of the student laboratory stations, breadth of the applications, and magnitude of the learning
Rehg, J. (1999, June), Web Based Programming Guide For Allen Bradley Pl Cs Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. https://peer.asee.org/8056
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