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OPERATION AND APPLICATION OF PLC WITH LADDER DIAGRAM

INTRODUCTION A Programmable Logic Controller, PLC or Programmable Controller is a digital computer used for automation of electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or light fixtures. The abbreviation "PLC" and the term "Programmable Logic Controller" are registered trademarks of the Allen-Bradley Company (Rockwell Automation).PLCs are used in many industries and machines. Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed-up or nonvolatile memory. A PLC is an example of a hard real time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a limited time, otherwise unintended operation will result. BASIC PLC COMPONENTS Programmable controllers have grown throughout industrial control applications because of the ease they bring to creating a controller: ease of programming, ease of wiring, ease of installation, and ease of changing. PLCs span a wide range of sizes, but all contain six basic components: 1. processor or central processing unit (CPU); 2. rack or mounting; 3. input assembly; 4. output assembly; 5. power supply; 6. programming unit, device, or PC/software

EXPLAINATION OF COMPONENTS Rack Assembly Most medium to large PLC systems are assembled such that the individual components CPU, Input/Output, Power Supply - are modules that are held together within a rack. In smaller PLC systems - all of these components may be contained in a single housing or "brick" - these smaller systems are sometimes referred to as "bricks" or "shoebox" PLCs. Power Supply The power supply provides power for the PLC system. The power supply provides internal DC current to operate the processor logic circuitry and input/output assemblies. Common power levels used are 24V DC or 120 VAC. Processor (CPU) The processor, central processing unit, or CPU is the "brain" of the PLC. The size and type of CPU will determine things like: the programming functions available, size of the application logic available, amount of memory available, and processing speed. Understanding the CPU can be a complex subject and we will tackle that in other articles. Input/Output Assembly Inputs carry signals from the process into the controller, they can be input switches, pressure sensors, operator inputs, etc. These are like the senses and sensors of the PLC. Outputs are the devices that the PLC uses to send changes out to the world. These are the actuator the PLC can change to adjust or control the process - motors, lights, relays, pumps, etc. Many types of inputs and outputs can be connected to a PLC, and they can all be divided into two large groups - analog and digital. Digital inputs and outputs are those that operate due to a discrete or binary change - on/off, yes/no. Analog inputs and outputs change continuously over a variable range - pressure, temperature, potentiometer. Programming Device The PLC is programmed using a specialty programmer or software on a computer that can load and change the logic inside. Most modern PLCs are programmed using software on a PC or laptop computer. Older systems used a custom programming device.

THE BASIC OPERATION OF A PLC The operation of PLC is simple and straight forward The CPU completes three process 1. Scans, or reads from the input devices 2. Execute and solves the program logic 3. Updates or writes to the output devices

PLC PROGRAM A PLC without program and logic is not useful and a CPU cannot execute its task A program logic should be created in a programming device This logic can be written in ladder logic, instruction list, sequential function start,or any of the IEC languages

BASIC SCAN Once the program is in the CPU - the PLC is then set to "run", and the PLC executes the application program repeatedly. In addition to executing the program, the CPU regularly reads the status of the input devices, and sends data to the output devices. The Input system senses the status of the real world inputs (a switch, a level, etc.), translates them to values that can be used by the CPU, and writes those values to the Input table. The application program is executed, and writes values to the Output table. The Output system then converts the output value to a real world change (motor turns on, valve opens, etc.) This process of reading inputs, executing logic, and writing outputs is called the PLC Scan or Sweep.

PLC INPUT AND OUTPUT DEVICES The term I/O refers to Input/Output. I/O is information representing the data that is received from sensing devices and the commands that are sent to actuating and indicating devices. The I/O System is the collection of physical elements of the control system that either provide or use I/O data. There are two major types of I/O: 1. Digital - binary devices which must be in one of only two states: on or off. 2. Analog - continuos devices - sense and respond to a range of values.

Digital I/O Digital input devices may be either on or off; they may not hold any other values. For example, digital position sensors do not sense how close an object is, they only tell if the object is within a range of positions. Common digital field input devices include pushbuttons, limit switches, and photoeyes. Common digital output devices include relays, motor starters, and solenoid valves. Analog I/O Analog input devices sense continuous parameters. The information that they provide is given as a continuous range of values, not just an on or off indicator. Common analog inputs are pressure, temperature, speed, etc. Analog output devices respond to a range of output values from the controller. Common analog output signals include motor speed, valve position, air pressure, etc.

I/O modules connect "real world" field devices to the controller. They convert the electrical signals used in the field devices into electronic signals that can be used by the control system, and translate real world values to IO table values. I/O modules communicate with PLC CPU in one of three ways: Backplane - The I/O modules can be located in the same rack or station. Communications then takes place within the rack or across the backplane. Backplane extension - backplane extension modules allow I/O modules to be located in racks or stations which are separated from the controller. Device network - modules can communicate with a controller over a network. Industrial networks are used to interconnect field level devices with controllers. Common IO networks are FieldBus, Profibus, and DeviceNet The number of I/O devices used within a control system is called its point count. Analog device data requires significantly more manipulation and processing than digital device data. Digital and analog point counts are typically considered separately. The total number of digital and analog points is used to give an indication of the size of a control system. LADDER DIAGRAM

Ladder Logic, or Ladder Diagrams is the most common programming language used to program a PLC

Ladder logic was one of the first programming approaches used in PLCs because it borrowed heavily from the Relay Diagrams that plant electricians already knew. The symbols used in Relay Ladder Logic consists of a power rail to the left, a second power rail to the right, and individual circuits that connect the left power rail to the right. The logic of each circuit (or rung) is solved from left to right. The symbols of these diagrams look like a ladder - with two side rails and circuits that resemble rungs on a ladder. The picture above has a single circuit or "rung" of ladder. 1. If Input1 is ON (or true) - power (logic) completes the circuit from the left rail to the right rail - and Output1 turns ON (or true). 2. If Output1 is OFF (or false) - then the circuit is not completed and logic does not flow to the right - and Output 1 is OFF. There are many logic symbols available in Ladder Logic - including Timers, Counters, Math, and Data Moves - such that any logical condition or control loop can be represented in Ladder Logic. With just a handful of basic symbols - a Normally Open Contact, Normally Closed Contact, Normally Open Coil, Normally Closed Coil, Timer, Counter - most logical conditions can be represented.

LADDER LOGIC BASICS: CONTACTS AND COILS PART 1- NORMALLY OPEN With just the Normally Open Contact and Normally Open Coil - a surprising array of basic logical conditions can be represented.

Normally Open Contact. This can be used to represent any input to the control logic - a switch or sensor, a contact from an output, or an internal output. When "solved" the referenced input is examined for an ON (logical 1) condition. If it is ON, the contact will close and allow power (logic) to flow from left to right. If the status is OFF (logical 0), the contact is Open, power (logic) will NOT flow from left to right.

Normally Open Coil. This can be used to represent any discrete output from the control logic. When "solved" if the logic to the left of the coil is TRUE, the refrenced output is ON (logical 1). Solving a Single Rung

Suppose a switch is wired to Input1, and a light bulb is wired through Output1 in such a way that the light is OFF when Output1 is OFF, and ON when Output1 is ON. When Input1 is OFF (logical 0) the contact remains open and power cannot flow from left to right. Therefore, Output1 remains OFF (logical 0). When Input1 is ON (logical 1) then the contact closes, power flows from left to right, and Output1 becomes ON (the light turns ON). LADDER LOGIC BASICS: CONATACTS AND COILS PART 2- NORMALLY CLOSED Another set of basic contacts and coils that can be used in Ladder Logic are the Normally Closed Contact and the Normally Closed Coil. These work just like their normally open counterparts - only in the opposite

When "solved" the referenced input is examined for an OFF condition. If the status is OFF (logical 0) power (logic) will flow from left to right. If the status is ON, power will not flow.

When "solved" if the coil is a logical 0, power will be turned on to the device. If logical 1, power will be OFF. LADDER LOGIC BASICS: THE AND RUNG AND THE OR RUNG The AND Rung The AND is a basic fundamental logic condition that is easy to directly represent in Ladder Logic.

Suppose a switch is wired to Switch1, a second switch is wired to Switch2, and a light bulb is wired through Light1 in such a way that the light is OFF when Light1 is OFF, and ON when Light1 is ON. This might be very similar to a hallway light in a house where two switches at either end of the hallway can turn the light off or on. In order for Light1 to turn ON, Switch1 must be ON, AND Switch2 must be ON. If Switch1 is OFF, power (logic) flow from the left rail, but stops at Switch1. Light1 will be OFF regardless of the state of Switch2. If Switch1 is ON, power makes it to Switch2. If Switch2 is OFF, power cannot flow any further to the right, and Light1 is OFF. If Switch1 is ON, AND Switch2 is ON - power flows to Light1 solving its state to ON. The OR Rung The OR is a logical condition that is easy to represent in Ladder Logic.

Suppose a switch is wired to Switch1, a second switch is wired to Switch2, and a light bulb is wired through Light1 in such a way that the light is OFF when Light1 is OFF, and ON when

Light1 is ON. In this instance, we want to the light to turn ON if either Switch1 OR Switch2 is ON. If Switch1 is ON - power flows to Light1 turning it ON. If Switch2 is ON - power flows through the Switch2 contact, and up the rail to Light1 - turning it ON. If Switch1 AND Switch 2 are ON - Light1 is ON. The only way Light1 is OFF is if Switch1 AND Switch2 are OFF. APPLICATION OF PLC There are so many applications of PLC especially in industry environment. Here are few examples of PLC programming applications that have been successfully completed and in use today: Plastics Industry - Extruder factory, silo feeding control system - Injection molding control system. Textile Industry - Industrial batch washing machine control system - Closed loop textile shrinkage system. Manufacturing Industry - Lead acid battery plant, complete manufacturing system. - Extruder factory, silo feeding control system Travel Industry - Escalator operation, monitored safety control system. - Lift operation, monitored safety control system. Aerospace - Water tank quenching system Printing Industry - Offset web press print register control system. - Multi stage screen washing system. Food Industry - Filling machine control system - Main factory feed water pump duty changeover system Hospitals - Coal fired boiler fan change-over system. Film Industry - Servo axis controlled camera positioning system. Corrugating - Main corrugators machine control system. - BOBST platen press driver and control system. Agriculture - Glasshouse heating, ventilation & watering system.

Foundry - Overhead transportation system from casting process to shot blasting machine. Leisure - Roller coaster ride and effects control system. - Greyhound track 'Rabbit' drive system.