Author: Nancy Museo
Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Programmable logic controller: Reasons Why Your Business Needs it



Many people don't know why their businesses need a programmable logic controller. That's why this article is well-researched to help you learn the reasons why you should invest in it. 

There are several reasons why your business needs a programmable logic controller; scalability, security, performance, flexibility in nature, availability of many contacts, communication capacity, ease of installation and troubleshooting, ease of maintenance, and cost-effectiveness. 

Keep reading to learn more about the factors to consider when selecting a programmable logic controller. 

Programmable logic controller: Reasons Why Your Business Needs it

In today's modern business environment, there are no boundaries or limits on what you can achieve with your company. To achieve success, you must ensure you have all the necessary tools. One device that every modern business needs are a programmable logic controller, which has gained so much popularity. 

Programmable logic controller: Reasons Why Your Business Needs it

What are the Main Components of a Programmable Logic Controller?

If you work in the automation industry, you've probably heard people talking about programmable logic controllers or PLCs. These devices automate all sorts of processes, from manufacturing to pumping liquids at water treatment facilities. The below table shows the main components of PLCs.

The power supply A power supply converts the power source for the device (electricity) into the voltage needed for the device's internal circuitry.
The processor The processor, which acts as the central nerve of the PLC system, is a solid-state device built to take care of many tasks in an industrial environment.
The PLC Input/Output

The I/O section protects the CPU from electrical noise by filtering status signals, validating voltage levels, and implementing CPU decisions.

Reasons why your business needs the programmable logic controller

1. Scalability

Scalability is one of the most important reasons your business needs a program with a logic controller. As your company grows, you need to be able to accommodate the increase in operations by building and hiring out quickly. Plus, scaling down your operations when there's no work available is vital for keeping costs low and balance sheets manageable.

2. Security

A PLC is the control center of your plant. The components you use to protect the PLC (namely keypads, programmable logic controllers, and network routers) must be equally high quality. It is one area where even the slightest difference in quality significantly impacts your system's security.

3. Performance

Programmable logic controllers save your business time and money, reduce or eliminate any risks of human error and simplify complex processes. Your company can reach its full potential with a suitable programmable logic controller.

Programmable logic controller: Reasons Why Your Business Needs it

4. Flexible

PLCs are flexible. You can configure them to do just about anything you want them to do. The task could be accomplished using a programmable logic controller if your business needs something done. One PLC may be able to perform different functions for different processes.

5. Availability of Many Contacts

Programmable logic controllers offer you the advantage of many contacts. With a PLC, you can have every piece of information from your machine at your fingertips. It gives you full access to all the statistics available, so you know everything about what is going on and how well it functions.

6. Communication Capability

Communicating better with our employees, business partners, and clients is essential to keeping their satisfaction high. One way to do this is by using programmable logic controllers. PLCs allow you to communicate with other controllers and devices on the same network. The possibilities are almost endless as your needs change or new technologies emerge.

Factors to consider when choosing programmable logic controller

Programmable logic controller: Reasons Why Your Business Needs it

Selecting a programmable logic controller can be tricky, especially if you're unfamiliar with this industrial automation device. There are several different options to consider when making your final decision. The good news is that you don't have to know all the technical specs about PLCs to determine which one would be best for your unique needs; there are some apparent factors you should consider before making your final purchase.

Factors to consider when selecting a programmable logic controller.

Power Supply

One factor to consider is the power supply for the PLC. If your system relies on the PLC for power, you need to know what voltage and frequency it requires. It will help ensure that you buy the correct type of transformer. The input voltage and frequency vary depending on location and manufacturer, so consult your local electrician or read online reviews before buying.

CPU speed

The CPU speed of the device is an important consideration. You'll want the CPU to be able to run all your programs without any issues. The higher the number, the faster it can process data and decide what to do next.

Memory Size of PLC

While you can use the same PLC to run different applications, the size of your application will impact what type of PLC you should use. If your application is on the small side, you may be able to use less expensive microcontrollers that are designed for low-cost solutions. If your application is on the large side and has complex requirements, you might need more significant programmable logic controllers with more memory or particular processors.

Programmable logic controller: Reasons Why Your Business Needs it

Programming

One of the most important things you need to figure out is how your PLC will be used. There are different levels of intelligence in the PLCs that you can purchase, and they determine what kinds of tasks they can do. For example, if your PLC needs only to make changes based on input signals, it would require a low-level processor.

Type of Communication Protocols

Choosing the suitable PLC for your application also depends on your system's communication protocol. What kind of networks or devices will the PLC interact with? Depending on your system needs, some PLCs are equipped with communication ports, while others may require additional communication modules. Other options include communicating remotely using ethernet or multiple types of communications, depending on your needs.

Here are some of the types of communication protocols used for the automation of processes in PLC
Take a look at the table below.

Ethernet/IP In this case, the protocol works under the open application layer known as the standard industrial protocol.
Modbus It is a process for transmitting information that utilizes serial or ethernet based on the master-slave technique.
Data highway It used transformer-coupled differential signals and was developed by Rockwell Automation. 
Actual sensor interface

When connecting everything to one device, the protocol is the only way to connect sensors and actuators. 

Environmental Requirements

Atmospheric and environmental specifications vary by region. Temperature ranges, altitude, and pollution levels can affect the type of PLC you need. Look for features to suit your needs.

System Requirements

The systems requirements for the PLC software vary by company. One important consideration is whether or not the PLC runs on Linux or Windows, as that will affect the compatible operating system. You should also find out what size of the project file you can work with in terms of MBs and the number of devices. The most popular types of PLC are rack-mounted or portable units that can run through an Ethernet connection.

What are the Takeaway Tips in Programmable Logic Controller

Programmable logic controller: Reasons Why Your Business Needs it

Programmable logic controllers are programmable automation controller devices that can help to optimize your production processes by cutting down on the number of operators needed for one task. With this in mind, it's understandable why PLCs could benefit your business. Simply put, it takes the workforce out of repetitive tasks to allow operators to focus on more essential duties.

Programmable logic controllers are necessary for ease of maintenance. PLCs are customizable, so they can be programmed to diagnose problems more quickly and without extensive training. It makes PLCs an excellent solution when troubleshooting complex systems that contain intricate processes.

PLCs are cost-effective as they use less energy than other mechanical and electrical devices. Since it is more efficient, you have to spend less on purchasing new units in the future. Moreover, having fewer units will lower your business costs, which leads to an increase in profit. 

Programmable logic controllers help businesses become more efficient by automating time-consuming tasks. These are customizable and can be programmed to carry out a particular sequence of instructions when triggered by events. All in all, using a programmable logic controller is advantageous for the long-term efficiency of your business. 

Conclusion

Businesses that need to automate their process or production, such as manufacturers and distributors, may want to consider a programmable logic controller (PLC). These controllers are built for programming, allowing the user to set up logical sequences of events. As these tasks can be time-consuming for an individual employee, investing in these expensive devices is often necessary. You can reach out to Guru solutions for effective programmable logic controller services. 

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Joined: 9/22/2022

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