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What is a PLC?

Updated: May 10, 2023

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a specialized computer used for the automation of industrial electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or light fixtures. PLCs are used in many industries to provide control and automation functions for a wide range of applications.

PLCs are designed to be rugged and reliable, able to operate in harsh industrial environments. They are also designed to be easily programmed and configured, using a variety of programming languages and software tools.

PLCs are made up of several components, including a central processing unit (CPU), input/output (I/O) modules, and a power supply. The CPU is the "brain" of the PLC, responsible for executing the program instructions and controlling the system. The I/O modules are used to connect the PLC to sensors and actuators, allowing it to receive input from the system and control output to the system. The power supply provides the electrical power needed to run the PLC and its connected components.

PLCs can be programmed using a variety of languages, including ladder logic, functional block diagram, and structured text. These languages are used to create a program that tells the PLC how to control the system based on input from sensors and other sources.

PLCs are widely used in many industries, including manufacturing, oil and gas, water treatment, and more. They are an essential component of modern automation systems, providing a reliable and flexible means of control and automation for a wide range of applications.


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