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How to make a PLC Controller Valuable To Production Processes

By Josh

December 20, 2021
plc controller

Robotics is the perfect solution for any company looking to use a PLC controller to automate their production process

Robotics is quickly becoming an important segment in the new manufacturing era known as Industry 4.0. As robots are able to handle more complex tasks, their use becomes even more widespread. In industrial automation, using a PLC controller is a key component of any system. In this blog post, we will discuss what they are, how they work, and when you should be using them. We will talk about the microcontroller in a PLC vs microcontroller comparison.

The last section will cover warehouse automation systems including both traditional conveyor belt systems as well as newer automated guided vehicle (AGV) setups which are a special type of robotics that have been gaining popularity over the past few years.

PLC Controller 

What is a PLC Controller?

Programmable logic controllers (PLC), can be used for a variety of different purposes. They were originally created to replace relays and switches in an industrial environment such as factories and warehouses where large amounts of material are moved around on a daily basis.

Dick Morley is considered the father of the PLC when he invented the Modicon 084 in 1968 for the General Motors company according to

A PLC controller is a device that replaced relays and switches with an industrial machine.

Today, PLCs have been adapted to interact with robots that need precise industrial control over their actions. These devices must be able to operate under a wide range of environmental conditions including intense heat and cold while also being extremely rugged enough for use in the workplace without any problems.

What is a Microcontroller?

plc vs microcontroller

Microcontrollers are a type of industrial computer that is used in embedded operating systems. These systems can be found in everything from toasters to automobiles. They have been around since the early 1980s and were originally designed for use in industrial applications. While they don’t offer the same flexibility as PLC controllers, microcontrollers are much cheaper and easier to use making them popular among hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, and open-source platforms like Raspberry Pi.

When should you Use a PLC Controller rather than a Microcontroller?

PLC controllers should be used whenever there is a need for precise control over an automated process. This includes tasks such as welding, cutting, or fabricating materials as well as moving objects from one place to another in a controlled manner.

plc controller 

How does a PLC Controller work?

The entire purpose of a PLC controller is to take in information from sensors and output the correct control signals needed for components such as conveyor belts, cranes, or any other device that needs to be operated by robotics. Once these devices are set up with their appropriate input and output devices on the PLC itself, they can then be configured using a PLC program called ladder logic. This type of programing uses simple programming languages like Sequential function chart (SFC) similar to common electric circuits which make programming easier while also increasing security.

When programmed correctly, each component will have its own section within the larger program. The program tells it how fast it should go along with what detection equipment should trigger action. This makes everything run smoothly, and in real time, without mistakes being made due to human error.

How to design a PLC control systems panel

When it comes to designing a PLC control panel, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. The most important factor is the type of process that will be controlled. Once you have determined this, then you can start to layout the various components needed for your specific application.

In general, there are three main types of controls that need to be considered when designing PLC systems:

  • Input devices
  • Output devices
  • Timers/sequencers

PLC’s have two types of inputs, Digital Inputs (DI) and Analog Inputs (AI). Inputs can come from devices such as switches, photo eyes, or pressure sensors while outputs can include everything from lights and motors to valves and solenoids. When it comes to timers and sequencers, these are used to control the sequence of events taking place within.

When Should You Use an Industrial Robot?

Industrial robots are an excellent way to automate processes such as machine tending, assembly line production, and packaging. They provide a safe alternative for humans who previously had to do these tasks on their own which can be extremely dangerous if proper safety precautions aren’t taken. Robots also have the advantage of being able to work more quickly than most people without getting tired or becoming distracted by other things going on around them in the workplace environment.

industrial automation using plc

What is Warehouse Automation?

Traditional automated warehouse systems that use conveyor belts and lift equipment are some of the first types of automation. They are used today in many industries, like food processing plants, product distribution, and car manufacturing. Warehouse or industrial automation is the perfect choice for any business interested in reducing costs, increasing productivity, and achieving higher performance.

Types of Conveyors:

  • Live roller
  • Belted Conveyor
  • Chain Conveyor
  • Lineshaft
  • MDR Conveyor
  • Spiral Conveyor

What is MDR Conveyor?

MDR Conveyor is the type of conveyor that we specialize in here at Russell Conveyor but by no means limited to.

MDR conveyor is a type of industrial automation that uses materials handling equipment to move objects from one place to another. They are used in many different industries such as food processing, automotive manufacturing, and product distribution centers. Some MDR conveyors are like roller coasters. They take the load off gravity, which is better for moving things. Others use different types of belts or chains that are good for some things but not for others.

What makes an MDR Conveyor ideal? An advantage of using an MDR conveyor system over other types is that it can handle large loads. You can get these without having to worry about too much force or weight being applied at any given time during operation.

How is Robotics changing warehouse automation?

agv robotics using plc 

Warehouse automation has been rapidly changing in recent years with the introduction of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) which use various types of sensors to navigate their way through a warehouse. This type of system is becoming more and more popular due to its flexibility – AGVs can be easily reconfigured if the layout of a warehouse changes, something that is becoming increasingly common as companies strive for greater efficiency.

Additionally, since there is no need for special infrastructures such as rails or wires, an AGV system can be set up in any existing warehouse relatively quickly and at a lower cost than traditional conveyor belt systems.

You may have heard about the benefits of warehouse automation and robotics for your business. But what you might not know is how it’s changing the way warehouses operate today. Russell Conveyor has helped companies like yours automate their processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs while at the same time improving safety standards in a variety of industries. If you want to learn more about how we can help with your company’s needs too, contact us today!

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About Russell Conveyor & Equipment

Russell Conveyor and Equipment has been in business for over 20 years. We specialize in conveyor systems and material handling solutions. Russell is a family-owned business, and we take pride in our customer service and quality products.

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