What does OPC stand for? OPC = OLE for Process Control
What does OLE stand for? OLE=Object Linking and Embedding
OPC communication protocol is the most current to standardize data transfer between all industrial devices. Which make OPC training essential to those working with IIoT.
(IIoT=Industrial Internet of Things)
For OPC SCADA and DCS, this OPC training and software gives you real world experience on free OPC server.
Source: OPC for SCADA and DCS training
Allen Bradley PLC Programming Basics
New to PLCs? This Koldwater PLCTrainer Download is for you.
“In fact, businesses that publish infographics grow their traffic an average of 12% more than those that don’t.”
The 12% number sounds great at face value, possibly greater than it should. If you don’t know sample rate and demographics of those surveyed, it could be misleading, or even discredited. Actually the number by itself is typically perfectly legit … it is the words surrounding the number, or not surrounding the numbers, that can cause the number’s value/importance/validity to be skewed.
Always consider the numbers origin and the big picture.
The bottom line is the infographic can be useful to the viewer, regardless the percentage. Below is an example of an info graphic.
Is the PLC dead?
“At a basic level, the simplicity/ complexity paradigm can be used to determine where PLCs are likely to remain the choice in machine-building applications.”
Pictured above is a PAC, a potential replacement for the PLC.
Read more at …
What is a plc programmer?
If you are asking what is a PLC programmer, then it is best to insure that you know “What is a PLC” first. The video below explains what a PLC is, in the most simple terms for the layperson to understand. Be it that layperson is a high school student, all the way up to a senior executive wanting to know what are PLCs that control all their facilities.
What is a PLC Programmer?
A PLC programmer can be anyone from the industrial maintenance person to an industrial engineer. With the technological evolution of the PLC to a PAC, even more occupations are adding ‘PLC programmer” to their job description, like IT personnel and even computer programmers.
Note, if you found this post via search engines, you may have been looking for “What is a PLC programmer” in the physical device since, not the occupational title of PLC programmer. The PLC programmer device was a hand held interface use to program PLCs, before the industry evolved to using computers to program PLCs. (See on pictures below.)
Back to “What is a PLC programmer ?”
… in the occupational sense. Many believe they can become a PLC programmer with just one PLC simulation software, or taking just one online PLC course, or just going through a PLC video course, etc As pointed out very clearly by http://PLC-Training.org , those who think just one course or ‘figuring it out’ on their own will make them a safe and reliable PLC programmer, are mistaking. More importantly, without proper PLC training that includes safety, reliability and best practices, they are at greater risk to damage man or machine, costing thousands or millions.
Learning how to program PLCs safely, reliably and using best practices takes years of training, continuous training each year as technology evolves, and studying many real world programs already out of the start up phase. If a PLC programmer does not get advanced PLC training, PLC training from multiple sources and study PLC programs from multiple sources, they would be greatly limited and less effective at being a PLC programmer. Yes with proper PLC Training an individual can safely modify existing programs, upload and download and troubleshoot complex equipment using the PLC/PAC, but they are not a PLC programmer who can design and write PLC programs for brand new PLC controlled systems from scratch. A masters in PLC programming would require in addition to engineering degree …
- Industrial electrical training course
- Best practices PLC training core foundation
- PLC scholastic education
- PLC troubleshooting training
- Hands on experience with 2 or more PLC brands
- PLC programming best practices (from multiple sources)
- Studying many commissioned PLC programs
- PLC communications
- PAC training
- More advance topics like PID, computer programming languages, SQL, OPC, HMI, SCADA training, etc.
The above is in addition to the standard theory and scholastic knowledge an electrical engineering degree that colleges provide. Even if you add these most needed subjects to your 4th year…
- Linear Models
- Control-oriented Models for System Design
- Block Diagram Models
- PID Design
- PID Tuning
Time Domain Performance Specifications
- Lead, Lag, Lead-lag Compensation
- Integrator Windup
- Frequency Domain Analysis
- Specification and Requirements Analysis of Control Systems
- A/D Conversion and Quantization
- Shannon-Nyquist Sampling Theorem
- Characteristics of Sensors and Actuators
- PLC, SCADA or other Industrial System Programming
- Discrete-time Systems
- Networks and Distributed Control
- MATLAB TM, Simulink TM and LabVIEW TM
… and more less needed subjects in general, but may be specific to your industry.
Many current ‘PLC programmers’ are self-taught with degrees from other fields. So they may be weak in formal software engineering training, or weak in or weak in system design and architecture. The bottom line is there is a huge difference between one who can program PLCs, and a master PLC programer (controls engineer). Just as there is a big difference between modifying an existing PLC program, and designing an automation control system.
The Man is Scott Whitlock who impressed me so much … I wanted to tell you all about him (his wife too), and share his great blog with you.
Scott by day does PLC, .NET, VB6, and SQL Server programming. In the evenings Scott and his wife run a question and answer site for parents called moms4mom.com, then on the weekends he writes and maintains an open source framework called SoapBox Core for developing extensible .NET applications. Somehow, Scott still finds time to produce an excellent blog, which is how I found him. A must read for all our followers, see http://www.contactandcoil.com/rslogix-5000-tutorial/.
What first impressed me as I read the RSLogix 5000 tutorial part of his blog, is that as he laid out clear and concise tutorials, he recommended many of the best practices we teach our students. So much so, it was as if he was trained by us. 🙂 Now one might think, well, that is not such a big deal, but it really is if you had my life’s experience running a training company specializing in PLCs. I have read most of the books, viewed most the popular PLC video series on YouTube, had instructor from other PLC training providers working for me at one time or another, even attended many PLC vendor classes. All the aforementioned PLC training resources had one thing in common, they did not teach best-practices like we do. Many actually teach worst practices putting man and machine at unnecessary risk and increasing downtime risk. So after all these years running into someone who not only teaches best practices in his PLC tutorial, but also explains why that particular way is the best way (also like we do), does amaze and impress me. Scott definately deserves our kudos. 🙂
[Note to Scott: When I say above “Best-Practices” I mean that in the most highest of complementary ways, meaning you are instructing the current best way to do something. Yes, I read your other blog post too, including the one where you comment big corporations get stuck in unchanging ‘Best-practices’ and ‘standards’ that stifle innovation and improvement. LOL So whenever you read best practices above, interpret it as ‘the best way’, the current best way. Thanks again for your great blog.]
Ironically the use of MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) fails as a tool when used for PLCs as a whole. In part because because the PLC has such a high MTBF. But for the most part because the environments in which PLCs are used vary so greatly and that parts fail, are stocked and replaced on a module level, not the whole PLC.
To learn more about how to best prepare for PLC failure, make stock decisions and increase machine reliability as a whole, read PLC Controller Failure Rates – PLC MTBF.
Industrial Skills Training: Path to PLC Expertise – Vocational Training for Manufacturing, Maintenance, Engineering
Many who have PLC class in college, ask “What’s next?” I wrote this blog post for them…
Please share with others interested in PLCs and industrial controls.
Attention: Maintenance, Electricians, Engineering …
Test your self, test your employees, share with others and compare scores, have fun! Click the link above !
(no registration, email or any contact info required. totally free)