programmable logic controllers

programmable logic controller (PLC) or programmable controller is a digital computer used for automation of industrial processes, such as control of machinery on factory assembly lines. Unlike general-purpose computers, the PLC is designed for multiple inputs and output arrangements, extended temperature ranges, immunity to electrical noise, and resistance to vibration and impact. Programs to control machine operation are typically stored in battery-backed or non-volatile memory. A PLC is an example of a real time system since output results must be produced in response to input conditions within a bounded time, otherwise unintended operation will result.

PLCs (programmable logic controllers) are the control hubs for a wide variety of automated systems and processes. They contain multiple inputs and outputs that use transistors and other circuitry to simulate switches and relays to control equipment. They are programmable via software interfaced via standard computer interfaces and proprietary languages and network options.

Programmable logic controllers I/O channel specifications include total number of points, number of inputs and outputs, ability to expand, and maximum number of channels. Number of points is the sum of the inputs and the outputs. PLCs may be specified by any possible combination of these values. Expandable units may be stacked or linked together to increase total control capacity. Maximum number of channels refers to the maximum total number of input and output channels in an expanded system. PLC system specifications to consider include scan time, number of instructions, data memory, and program memory. Scan time is the time required by the PLC to check the states of its inputs and outputs. Instructions are standard operations (such as math functions) available to PLC software. Data memory is the capacity for data storage. Program memory is the capacity for control software.

Modicon Atrium PLC
The Atrium PC coprocessor lets you turn your PC into a PLC simply by installing an Atrium PC processor board. This embedded real-time controller meets your needs for openness and cost savings while providing a reliable, robust operating system that won’t crash even if the PC does


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