These days a great many tasks once performed by people are now performed by machines. Almost any industry you can think of uses an automated production line to assemble its products, with only a few human supervisors necessary.
So, how do these machines know what to do with no person present to guide them? The answer is they use a PLC controller (programmable logic controller) in place of a human operator. This frees people from having to do many repetitive and hazardous tasks, the electronic brain of the “PLC” handles it all on its own.
PLCs are used in a variety of applications in many different industries like the automobile industry, steel industry, chemical industry, and energy production. Here are some of the other industries where PLCs make an important contribution:
The Travel Industry – PLCs are used to monitor the safety control systems that operate lifts and escalators in busy airports.
The Glass Industry – PLCs have been used in the glass industry for many years to control the material ratio as well as to process flat glasses. Producing glass is a sophisticated, elaborate process, so the industry often uses PLCs with the bus technology in its control mode. The advancements in PLC technology control modes over the decades have created an increased demand for these devices in the glass industry.
The Paper Industry – In the paper printing process PLCs are used to control the machines that produce paper products at high speeds. For example, a PLC unit controls and monitors the production of newspapers and book pages during offset web printing.
The Food industry – PLC is used in the coal-fired boiler fan change-over system in hospitals, and the filling machine control systems in food processing.
The Cement Industry – The process of manufacturing cement requires the mixing of various raw materials in a kiln. The quality and proportions of these raw materials have a significant impact on the results of the final product. To ensure the right quality and quantities of raw materials are used, the accuracy of data is critical to the production.
The Plastics Industry – PLCs handle the corrugation machine control system and injection moulding control systems, as well as silo feeding.
There are many other examples of PLC programming applications in use in various industries, to the point where there is a PLC involved in making almost every product we use!