A Webinar on ‘Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Basics, with Hands on Experience’was organized by the ECE Department, in collaboration with IQAC, on 12th December 2020, from 1.30 pm to 4:00 pm, through online mode. The speakers were Dr. Thangavel Bhuvaneswari, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia and Dr. Chitra Venugopal, Electrical Engineering and Renewable Energy Department, Oregon Institute of Technology, OR, USA.
The program was presided over by Dr. P Mahabaleshwarappa (Principal, MVJCE), Prof. M Brindha (Vice Principal, MVJCE) and Prof. Vaman B Gudi (CoE & Registrar, MVJCE). The session started at 1.30 pm with 168 participants that included UG and PG students, and Faculty members of various departments. The Principal spoke about automation, an ever-evolving domain, which requires constant innovation and technology advancement. He said it was the constant endeavor of the College to instill a love and passion for electronics and automation in the youth, and provide them with a platform to reach great heights. He congratulated the Electronics and Communication Engineering Department for organizing this Workshop on ‘Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) Basics, with Hands on Experience’.
This webinar was all about the Programmable Logic Controller, or PLC, which is a ruggedized computer used for industrial automation. These controllers can automate a specific process, machine function, or even an entire production line. This short course was meant to provide an introduction to the PLC and a demonstration of Industrial Automation examples using Windows based ladder programming simulator, LogixPro. At the end of the course, the participants would be able to understand the basics of PLC, draw simple ladder diagram for basic automation and learn how to simulate with LogixPro.
The first session was delivered by Dr. Thangavel Bhuvaneshwari. A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is an industrial computer control system that continuously monitors the state of input devices and makes decisions based upon a custom program to control the state of output devices. It is used primarily in automation of industrial electromechanical processes, such as control of machinery in factory assembly lines, amusement rides, or light fixtures. PLCs are designed for multiple arrangements of digital and analog inputs and outputs, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Job opportunities include roles such as Automation Engineer, PLC Program Developer, PLC operator, Field Area Control Engineer, Maintenance Engineer, Application Engineer and Panel Board wiring Engineer. Companies currently using PLC/SCADA are Innospace Automation Services Pvt. Ltd., Netplace Technologies Pvt. Ltd., Intellexus System Pvt. Ltd. and Xilinx Asia Pvt. Ltd.
Dr. Bhuvaneshwari gave a brief introduction on PLC. PLCs look at states of Inputs. Based on these states, the PLC makes decisions, and then commands output states. The instructions that tell the output devices what to do based on the conditions returned by the input devices are written in programs that are stored and run by the PLC. Her lecture focused on automation, with real time demos and examples about industrial assembly line, food industry, parcel sorting system, batch brewing system, amusement park rides and bottling lines. In automation, the most important part is the control system. The earliest automation systems were nothing but directly wired systems, i.e., a control system where all the components are designed and tested together and then sold as a complete system.
She explained how to make a program in PLC using ladder logic language. An example was given by her so that the students could easily understand how to compile and run the PLC program.
The second session was delivered by Dr. Chitra Venugopal. Among other things, the Speaker dealt with the basics of PLC and Ladder. In this session, she gave the participants software, which they installed on their PC. She then taught the basic use of PLC like symbols used in Industries, different switches, proximity sensor (Transducer), hydraulic and pneumatic valves, relays and contactors.
Each line of code is known as a ‘rung’. In this example, there are 4 rungs, numbered 0, 1 and 2, with the end rung marking the end of the program. The PLC executes the program, one rung at a time, starting with the first rung and then working its way down. Each rung is executed from left to right. Therefore, we typically find the inputs on the left and the outputs on the right. Ladder logic rungs are basically if – then statements. If the input conditions are true, then command the outputs based on a true input. If the input conditions are false, then command the outputs based on a false input.
The Speakers also described various applications of automation and various types of components such as relays, switches etc. It looks at states of Inputs. Based on these states, the PLC makes decisions, and then commands output states. The instructions that tell the output devices what to do based on the conditions returned by the input devices are written in programs that are stored and run by the PLC. It consists of five major parts – Input/output modules, Power Supply, Programming device and CPU.
Outcome of the Webinar
The event was very helpful to the UG students to learn about PLCs and to have hands on experience of PLC and SCADA technology. They learned how to atomize the system using PLC programing, and how to design the same in SCADA. Students displayed their expertise by doing a small project using the software. They were also happy to take up their project in PLC and SCADA, and implement new ideas in automation.