ISA celebrates 40 years of PLC technology at ISA EXPO 2008
As the provider of Modicon PLCs, Schneider Electric is hosting a PLC showcase at ISA EXPO, Oct. 14-16, at the Reliant Center in Houston. The showcase will present a PLC history from that first Modicon PLC implementation through its evolution over the past 40 years. It will also include one-on-one time with Dick Morley, father of the PLC, on Tuesday afternoon during the industry reception, and all day Wednesday.
The PLC was invented in response to the needs of the American automotive industry. Before the PLC, control, sequencing and safety interlock logic for manufacturing was accomplished using relays, timers and dedicated closed-loop controllers. Updates and changeovers were very time consuming and expensive, requiring skilled electricians to rewire entire systems.
The first PLC, designated the Modicon (Modular Digital Controller) 084 changed all that. Today, PLC products are among the most widely used products in the industrial automation business and have grown into a global market of several billions of dollars per year. Products range in price from less than $100 up to tens of thousands of dollars.