Do you like making great money and having great job security? Are you looking to build, and advance, your career in the manufacturing world? Learn to write code for programmable logic controllers, or PLCs, and see how far it can take you!
Read our PLC programming guide to get you started down the path to success.
Programmable Logic Controllers in the Real World
PLCs are used extensively throughout the world of manufacturing, in countless applications many people aren’t even aware of. If you already work in a branch of the manufacturing industry, it is likely you already are familiar with a PLC as used in your field.
PLCs are used as production machine controllers, to monitor equipment health, and alert human technicians when a problem arises. They can also be used as a user interface when performing maintenance or repairing equipment.
Unlike people, PLCs can run 24/7, 365 days a year, without needing rest breaks, weekends, or vacations. Many are also secure as all they need is a power source; no internet connection and no means for outsiders to hack into a company’s PLC and gain access to sensitive intellectual property.
What Is PLC Programming?
PLCs were first created as a more reliable replacement for electro-mechanical relay-based circuits. As PLCs were originally stepping into the shoes of an established logic control system, they needed to be able to properly interface with both the machinery they would control – and the humans who would manage them without those humans requiring extensive retraining.
The ultimate solution to this problem was a programming language called Ladder Logic, which is still the simplest and most popular of the PLC programming languages. If you are starting out in the PLC programming world, Ladder Logic is an excellent place to start off, with room to grow in the future!
Ladder Logic is a powerful language that runs in constant loops, waiting for a specific input. Click here to explore some basic examples of how Ladder Logic is written and used.
PLC Programming Basics
Is the idea of learning a programming language giving you cold feet? Ladder Logic need not be daunting. Many people consider it to be one of the easier programming languages to learn.
PLCs come with their own PLC programming software that you will use to write your code on a PC. This software will allow you to run a simulation of your code to find any bugs, before ever downloading it into your PLC. This makes any troubleshooting easier.
PLC programming training is widely available to help you along. Here is just one option to get you started off on the right foot.
Do you already have the basics and are looking to increase your knowledge and skill levels? Check out this advanced plc programming tutorial to continue your PLC programming journey!
Advancing Your PLC Programming Skills
As we have seen through this guide, learning PLC programming is a valuable skill with endless possibilities. There is always high demand within the manufacturing world for a skilled PLC programmer, and where there is great demand, there is great pay!
Now that you are armed with the skills you need, you can go forth and make a great career! May you succeed!