Asee peer logo

Work In Progress: A PLC Trainer With Hands-on Wiring

Download Paper |


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

Experiences in Manufacturing Engineering Education

Tagged Division


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Hugh Jack P. Eng. P.E. Western Carolina University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Dr. Jack is the Cass Ballenger Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Department Head of the School of Engineering and Technology within Western Carolina University. His interests include robotics, automation, and product design.

visit author page


Paul M Yanik Western Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Paul Yanik is an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology at Western Carolina University. His research interests include human-robot interactions, assistive devices, pattern recognition, machine learning, and engineering education.

visit author page

author page

Jerry N. Denton Denton Western Carolina University

Download Paper |


A low cost Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) training platform has been designed, built, and used in an introductory undergraduate PLC class. Instead of providing pre-wired equipment, the trainers supply industry standard components. Students are taught to interpret industrial wiring diagrams and connect hardware in the first week of a semester long course. Throughout the semester the students are constantly modifying the wiring. The result are students that are better prepared for industrial design and build of PLC controlled manufacturing equipment.

The paper outlines the design and construction of these low cost trainers. The trainers are presented as independent of PLC vendors and may be constructed for less than $700 per station without the PLC. A low cost PLC may be purchased for a hundred dollars or more to create a fully capable trainer. An example of lecture materials and student work are presented.

Jack, H., & Yanik, P. M., & Denton, J. N. (2018, June), Work In Progress: A PLC Trainer With Hands-on Wiring Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31265

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015