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PLC Basics

By: Mr. S.V.Nakhe,

Industrial Controls & Appliances Pvt.Ltd., Mumbai

Session 1: General Information
 Session 2: Omron PLC Specifics
 Session 3: Implementation of small application
using Omron PLC

Session 1: General Info

 Early History
 Newer Developments
 Differences between PLC and PC
 Advantages of PLC
 How to select a PLC for an application

Definition of Programmable Controller

(NEMA ICS3-1978 Part 304)

The Programmable Controller is a digitally

operating electronic apparatus, which uses
programmable memory for the internal
storage of instructions, for implementing
specific functions such as logic,
sequencing, timing, counting and
arithmetic to control various types of
machines and processes through digital or
analog Input/Output modules.

Early History of PLCs (1)

Inception at General Motors assembly
line in 1968
 Dick Morley is considered as father of
PLC, who founded the Modicon
 First implementation by Modicon in 1969
 Introduction of arithmetic functions,
data transfer, matrix operation and
printer support in 1973

Early History of PLCs (2)

Introduction of PID Control in 1975
 Development of microprocessor based
PLCs in 1977
 Development of PLC Communication
System for integration of plant
operations in 1979
 Introduction of Communication Data
Highway in 1981

Newer Developments (1)

Smaller size, higher speed, more program

and data memory, more I/O and
Communication Options and improved
instruction set
Introduction of PLCOpen Languages

Instruction List
Structured Text
Function Block Diagram

Newer Developments (2)

Integrated Software Architecture

PLC Programming
HMI Programming
Motion & Position Programming
Network Development

Use of Higher Level languages like c

and Basic

Newer Developments (3)

Object Oriented Concepts Function Blocks,

Add-on Instructions, Reusability
Software options

Floating Point calculations Single and

double precision
Data Storage and Manipulation
String Handling
Fuzzy Logic

Newer Developments (4)

Open Communication Networks

Modbus TCP
ProfiBus DP, PA
Foundation FieldBus

Newer Developments (5)

Interbus S
Modbus (RTU, ASCII)

Integration with ERP

 Better Diagnostics

Newer Developments (6)

Safety PLCs, SIL
 PAC (Programmable Automation

Differences between PLC and PC

Time Orientation
Real Time Vs Non-real time

Working Environment
Harsh Vs Commercial

Programming Language and

Industry specific Vs General Purpose

Input / Outputs

Advantages of PLC over earlier control

implementations (1)

The same PLC can be used for various

control tasks. Less inventory
Easy accommodation of control strategy
changes without affecting wiring
Easy implementation of control for similar
machines program copying
Automatic updating of control documentation
(with proper versioning control)
Reduction in overall project completion time
parallel engineering of PLC and control panel

Advantages of PLC over earlier control

implementations (2)
 PLC proves cheaper for complex logic
and sequencing operations
 With special I/Os, PLCs can replace
many discrete components like relays,
timers, counters, single loop controllers,
arithmetic function units etc.
 PLCs can communicate with each other
or with various other devices

How to select PLC for an Application (1)

Complexity of application which decides size

of program memory, data memory and
instruction set
Type, quantity and rating of Inputs and

AC/DC, Voltage,
Pot.free, NPN/PNP
Interrupt / Pulse Catch

How to select PLC for an Application (2)

 Pot.Free (MCC, Ann), DC rating
 Current (0.1, 0.5, 2A)

How to select PLC for an Application (3)

Current/voltage, 2/4 wire
 TC/RTD, Linearisation
 Resolution (8 to 20 bits)
 Conversion Time
 Open Wire sensing
 Ch/Ch Isolation

How to select PLC for an Application (4)

 Load Resistance
 Resolution (8 to 16 bits)
 Conversion Time

How to select PLC for an Application (5)

Response Speed requirement
 Communication capability requirement
 Redundancy requirement

Cold / Warm / Hot

Physical distance between field I/Os and

PLC which decides requirement of
remote I/Os
 System expandability requirement

Control System Types (1)

A) Process Control
a) Continuous Process: Petrochemicals,
Fertilizers, Power, Chemical Industries

Close Loop Control is normally done by DCS and

startup/shutdown operations are done by PLC.
High Safety and Availability is required.
Hot Standby, Triple Redundant, TUV approved systems
are normally used. If the plant trips then sometimes it
takes days to take the process on-line.
Logic is normally combinational and used for startup and
shutdown. Sequential logic is rarely used.
Logic complexity is not high.

Control System Types (2)

PLC response time need not be high.
 PLC with analog I/Os and Closed Loop Control
capability are normally used.
 Separate Man-Machine-Interface for PLC is not
normally used but DCS and PLC
communication is used for displaying important
parameters on DCS consoles.

Control System Types (3)

b) Batch Process : Pharmaceuticals, Paint, Food
Processing Industries

Close Loop Control, Batch Sequencing, Recipes

Startup/Shutdown Operations are handled by DCS or
PLC depending on size of the Plant.
High Safety and Availability is required. Hot Standby or
non-redundant systems are normally used.
Most of the logic is sequential and startup/shutdown logic
is combinational.

Control System Types (4)

Logic complexity is high as compared to
Continuous Process.
 PLC response time need not be high.
 PLC with analog I/Os, Closed Loop Control
capability as well as Data Handling capability
are normally used.
 Man-Machine-Interface (PC based SCADA
Software) is normally used if only PLC is used
for Control.

Control System Types (5)

B) Factory Automation
Safety and availability are important but nonredundant PLCs are normally used.
Most of the logic is sequential. It is more complex
than that for Continuous or Batch Process Control.
For a given no. of I/Os, Machine control application
requires faster response, more program and data
memory, better instruction set in PLC than a
Process Control application.

Control System Types (6)

Since in many cases Position or Motion
Control is involved, PLC response time has
to be fast.
High Speed and Intelligent I/Os are
required in many applications.
In many cases Man-Machine-Interface is

Control System Components (1)

Digital Inputs

Selector Switch, PB, Foot Switch

Passive Process Switch (PSH/PSL)
Active Process Switch (TripAmps)
Keyboard, Thumbwheel
Incremental or Absolute Encoder

Digital Outputs

Solenoid Valves
Contactors, MCC Circuits
Lamps, Buzzer, Hooter, Beacon
7 segment Displays

Control System Components (2)

Analog inputs
 Analog Outputs

I/P Converter, Hyd. Prop Valves

VFD, Servo, Stepper Drives,
Power Controller (for Heaters)



Modbus TCP