No matter what industry you’re in, a PLC (Programming Logic Controller) is likely used to automate your machinery and inputs. You rely on this controller to make the essential functions of your business smooth and efficient.
A PLC is specially tailored to your unique industry and needs and your PLC programmer is responsible for designing control programs for your electrical machines and systems.
These systems are used in multiple industries — helping to automate machinery and notify of any issues within the machinery or process.
Because PLCs are such a vital part of your business, it’s no surprise that you’ll want to ensure you’re hiring the best PLC programmer for your needs. We’re going to give you a little more background information on PLCs and share some key characteristics you should look for when you’re hiring a PLC programmer.
What You Need to Know About PLCs
The use of PLC’s started in the automotive industry but quickly spread to other industries. It is now used as the go-to from the food industry to manufacturing.
It gained popularity because it increases efficiency and automation for processes. This takes the manual monitoring and setup of each machine and lessens the possibility of human error.
A few of the industries currently using PLC are:
- Wind and Solar power
- Oil & Gas
- Food & Beverage
- Site Surveillance
This is just a shortlist of the industries that use a PLC to manage their processes. PLC’s are here to stay and are expanding into more and more industries.
Why Use a PLC?
A PLC replaces hard-wired control systems made up of an arrangement of wires and switches that need to be manually configured. These hard-wired control systems take a lot of maintenance and work to change processes. Anytime a process changes in these older systems, the wires must also be rerouted and changed.
A PLC creates a programmed processing unit (CPU) that automatically scales to fit any process needed for automation. Once it is configured by a PLC programmer, it is easily maintained and mitigates the risk of human error.
Using a PLC provides a human machine interface (HMI) for personnel to obtain error logs, graphs of efficiency, and information essential to running your business smoothly.
What types of PLCs are there?
There are two types of PLCs available, a fixed/compact and a modular PLC. While they both work similarly, there are a few differences to note.
Each PLC is made up of modules, depending on the type of PLC, there are different features to these modules.
With a fixed/compact PLC, the modules are static. They do not have the capability for a module to be scaled. The input and output are set by the manufacturer and are designed for basic capabilities.
A Modular PLC allows for the expansion of modules, providing more scalability depending on your processes. The input and output components can be increased, and each component performs independently of the other.
What You Need to Know About Hiring a PLC Programmer
A PLC Programmer is someone who creates the logic and processes the PLC maintains. They have specialized training in programming, creating a PLC that is tailored to your industry.
The most common programming language a PLC Programmer uses is Ladder Logic. Ladder Logic language creates a “ladder” structure of relays between devices.
The PLC Programmer understands the limitations and execution of the rungs in the ladder. This then creates a sequential control of a process or manufacturing operation.
Once these processes are created, the programmer then creates a Human Machine Interface (HMI) creating a human-readable program. This provides information for employees and personnel to track processes and automation.
What Happens If I Hire a Bad PLC Programmer?
Most businesses cannot afford to have crucial machinery breakdown or have processes held up waiting on repairs or reprogramming/reconfiguration.
If you don’t have a reliable resource for PLC programming, you could be facing:
- Production delays while machines are down
- Time wasted due to inexperience and inefficiencies in implementing solutions
- Disappointed customers as their deadlines are not met
Why Hire a PLC Programming Service?
Having a PLC programmer on staff can be costly and take up resources that can be used for operational and administrative staff. Finding a reputable PLC programmer provides end-to-end service.
Electrical Companies that specialize in PLC Programming can advise on the type of PLC your business needs, install it, program it, and test it to make sure that it is working as intended. A PLC Programming service is also available for support and upgrades as needed.
Browning Electric Company understands how critical it is for your industrial operations to run smoothly. We provide a full range of PLC services designed to fit your needs.
Our expert programmers and in-house panel fabrication shop is a winning combination for any project. We can handle projects of all sizes and can ship all over the United States. While we specialize in Oil & Gas, Mining, and the IT/IS industries our staff has a huge range of experience and can create solutions for almost any industry.
Have an existing system that needs maintenance, troubleshooting, upgrades, or auditing? We offer services for both new and existing installations and systems.
Call today and let’s discuss your project.