This article was printed in CONTROL's April 2009 edition.
Every month, Control’s editors take a specific product area, collect all the latest, significant tools we can find, and present them here to make your job easier. If you know of any tools and resources we didn’t include, send them to [email protected], and we’ll add them to the website.
ATS provides training and workshops on PLCs and programming of many vendor’s products either onsite, regionally or in one of the firm’s training centers. For individuals and small groups, the company also offers a “pairing program” where customers register their requirements and are teamed up with others in the same region for the same course. ATS issues officially recognized diplomas and training vouchers.
GLOSSARY OF INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION
This glossary of industrial automation terms supports the improvement of knowledge for all engineers in manufacturing. It includes glossaries of PLC, sensor, safety component, control component, automation system, and motor and drive terminology.
PLCs GROW UP
“The PLC: New Technology, Greater Data Sharing” by Robert Holman, Automation & Controls Engineering LTD, takes you through the evolution of the PLC and discusses in depth some of the new capabilities that they offer. It describes web servers, FTP servers, sending email and internal relational databases.
PACs GROW UP
White paper titled “The Rise of the Programmable Automation Controller” describes how, over the last 30 years, technology has moved from hardwired relays and analog controllers and computers to the development of the programmable automation controller (PAC). It discusses this growth and what the future may hold in automation and control.
This white paper guides readers through all the stages concerned in choosing a PAC. In a single controller, a PAC provides the advanced control features, network connectivity, device interoperability and enterprise data integration capabilities found in PLC- or PC-based automation controllers. With these features, PACs have become an integral part of meeting the new and diverse requirements demanded in modern industrial applications.
“Introduction to PLC Logic and Principles on Video” demonstrates examples of programming with AutomationDirect’s DirectSoft v3.0. You can get ‘Hands-On’ experience by following along with the instructor, who is using the hardware. You can learn at your pace and take a break when you need it. A users manual is available for use in conjunction with the video. http://tinyurl.com/codp2e.
FUTURE OF PACS
This white paper explores the origins of the PAC, how PACs differ from PLCs and PCs, and the future direction of industrial control with PACs. Its table of contents includes PACs for industrial control; the future of control; the “80-20” rule; building a better controller; two approaches to software; vision and measurements in PACs; how PACs eliminate the need for custom hardware; LabVIEW for control; and National Instruments’ PACs.
PLC TUTORIAL BASICS
The Learning Pit
The Learning Pit is a Whitby, Ontario, Canada-based online learning center for PLCs and all things related to them. In addition to a basic module, “PLC Training—How to Get Started,” the site contains sections on LogixPro training, PLC simulators/emulators, as well as courses on basic electrical theory and electrical codes.