Choosing the right PLC panel

Programmable logic controller (PLC) panels come in almost every shape and size with some of them being freestanding and others being wall-mounted and choosing the right solution for a particular application can be difficult.

11/18/2016


Programming logic controller (PLC) panels come in almost every shape and size with some of them being freestanding and others being wall-mounted and choosing the right solution for a particular application can be difficult. Courtesy of: L&S ElectricControlling equipment has always been of interest in industrial applications. Before modern-day computers came into existence, a series of relays controlled that equipment and may have numbered into the thousands. Any updates required expensive and time-consuming manual labor by electricians who needed to rewire all of the relays.

The adoption of digital computers gave rise to the modern programmable logic controller (PLC): a digital computer utilized for the automation of various processes within an industrial facility. The PLC is designed for applications ranging from controlling parts of an assembly line to automating and controlling the light fixtures in an establishment.

There are similarities between a personal computer and a controller. Both a PLC and a personal computer have a CPU, memory, and input/output (I/O) units. On the other hand, a controller is built for industrial applications. It is designed to operate under harsh environments often seen in many facilities. In essence, the PLC and a PC gather and release information.

The PLC panel can be used in a wide range of industrial applications, primarily for automating processes and increasing control over critical systems. The processor controls electrical power and are commonly referred to as an automation panel. PLCs are utilized in many industries including:

  • Automotive industry: the automotive industry is one of the largest users of PLCs and one of the first industries to embrace factory automation fully. The industry still makes use of automation through PLC panels on an ongoing basis.
  • Marine: from controlling specific parts of the vessel to a full vessel system, it is an important part of maintaining operation where failures can cause severe consequences.
  • Power generation: PLC panels can be used for some processes within a power generation facility, such as automating the soot blower controls
  • Paper making: PLC panels can be used for controlling many processes within the paper mill industry.
  • Automation control: The applications that achieve automation through the use of PLCs include HVAC systems, car wash systems, material handling, and conveyor systems

- David Manney is a marketing administrator at L&S Electric. This article originally appeared on L&S Electric Watts New Blog. L&S Electric Inc. is a CFE Media content partner.



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me