A PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) is a type of digital computer that is used to automate electromechanical processors such as those used in controlling machinery on assembly lines, fairground rides or light fixtures. Unlike general-purpose computers a PLC is designed for multiple output and input arrangements, resistance to electrical noise, different temperature ranges and resistance to vibration. As well as these qualities, there are many other advantages to using a PLC; so what are they?
Increase in Flexibility
These controllers are incredibly flexible as it is possible for a single PLC to run many different machines. So if you require the use of a number of different pieces of equipment or instruments then being able to use one PLC to run them all will reduce your need for space and increase your productivity.
Reduce Your Costs
The prices of Programmable Logic Controllers can vary from a few hundred pounds to a few thousand. However, this is very little when you compare it to the price of the contact and coils and the timers that you would need in order to produce the same result. If you add on any installation costs, shipping costs and other charges onto this then it becomes an incredibly large amount that is not necessary for you to pay if you use a PLC.
When wired relay-type panels were used in abundance in the past, any program alterations that were needed required time and effort due to the rewiring of the panels and any devices. If you are using a PLC then making any changes to the circuit design or the sequence can be as simple as just retyping the logic. This makes the process of correcting errors with a PLC a very short and cost-effective one.
A PLC can go through a number of different tests and evaluations in a lab. The program is able to be tested, validated and corrected which allows you to save valuable time therefore reducing costs and increasing productivity within your environment.
The memory in modern Programmable Logic Control memory is always on the increase which means that you can generate more and more contacts, timers, coils, counters, sequences and other necessary parts. You are able to have thousands of counters and contact timers in a single PLC; can you imagine having this many things on one panel? Again, with a reduction in space comes a reduction in costs and an increase in productivity.
When you’re running a program, the PLC visual operation can be seen on screen; this makes trouble shooting any circuit simple, easy and fast which is just what you need during a complex operation.
Many companies such as Unitronics can provide you with the information and products that you need to ensure that you achieve maximum efficiency within your environment; so if you feel that PLC may be advantageous to you then now is the time to find out more.
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