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Your Industrial Company can Benefit by Implementing a PLC

April 2, 2018
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In the industrial fields such manufacturing and distribution, PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) offer many benefits. Your company can take advantage of these by simply implementing a PLC system. For example, this system can help streamline your factory floor and improve visibility. Best of all, the system is entirely customizable. The unique and specific needs of your business determine how you build the system and what you put into it. Because software and sizeable, heavy machinery are often at odds, a PLC system acts as a conduit, bringing the two together. The beauty of this system is that it is specifically designed for the industrial industry. It is a compact and durable system that is resilient in the face of heat and dust. With a company in this field, implementing a PLC is vital to your success.

 

What is a PLC?

 

As mentioned before, PLC stands for a programmable logic controller. It is a compact and low-cost system that works amazingly well in the industrial field. Even though the advanced process-control system is small, it has incredible strength. Another perk that makes this system perfect for the industrial industry is that it is well armored. It’s resilient in tough conditions such as dust, cold, heat, and moisture. Moreover, these types of systems come with a myriad of uses, which include data acquisition. The ability to garner data even in this industry can prove to be transformative. Additionally, you can use the system for remote equipment, temperature, and motion monitoring.  You can also use it with distribution control systems. PLCs meet the specialized needs of the industrial industry. Because you can customize PLC systems specifically for your business, their design fits your specific needs perfectly.

 

Streamline Factory Floor

 

A well designed PLC can replace thousands of relayers, drum sequencers, and cam timers. For instance, you can run your whole shop off of one system. That kind of increased control can streamline your factory floor immensely. No longer would your supervisors and workers have to manage multiple systems. Additionally, a PLC system can deliver real-time and precise data on machine settings for process control, acquisition, and analysis of data. At Ayoka, our experience with installing PLC systems has been incredibly positive. Employers have reported that the productivity of their employees has dramatically improved. Having a reliable system on the factory floor is priceless. It ensures your employees can do their jobs to the best of their abilities. This will of course also result in quicker production times as your team will be working at optimized speeds and proficiency.

 

Customizable

 

One of the most significant parts of a PLC is the ability to customize it to fit your company’s needs. Manufacturers and other parts of the industrial industry confront unique challenges every day. It is an industry that faces problems that other industries won’t face, such as extreme heat and cold, dust, and moisture. Unfortunately, the everyday elements of your manufacturing company are often detrimental to software and control systems. With all of these things in mind, PLCs are designed to assist industrial companies while also being durable. Small changes in operating temperature or speed and resistance of machine components can mean adding thousands of dollars to the bottom line. That is why they are designed to perform data acquisition, remote equipment, temperature, and motion monitoring, and distribution control systems. These systems are customized to perform the tasks that are most important to your specific company and needs.

 

Improved Visibility

 

With your customized PLC system you can also improve visibility from your company in many ways. For example, the system can be remotely accessible. Everyone from the shop floor to the traveling executive has access to what is going on. Advanced software development techniques have allowed access through HMI, providing broad access to machine controls and monitoring. Moreover, the system does more than just allow you to monitor over the web remotely. You can also develop a data warehouse for reporting and business intelligence applications. This gives supervisors access to all kinds of numbers and productivity streams right at their fingertips. Because this system is customizable, it’s entirely up to you to determine how visible everything becomes. You are in the driver’s seat.

 

Manufacturing and distribution companies need assistance and PLC could be just right for them. The first benefit of a PLC is that it is durable enough to function in the extreme conditions that manufacturing and distribution facilities have. They are a great way of streamlining production and improving productivity. Employers and employees can get on board with a straightforward system. Because it is customizable it can be exactly what you need and nothing you don’t. And finally, they open up your business to greater visibility. Employees at all levels will easily be able to access what they need to access. Implementing a PLC could potentially be the best investment your business makes. If you would like to learn more about implementing a PLC system Ayoka Systems is here to help. Give us a call at (817) 210-4042.

PLC Communication and Monitoring

June 30, 2009
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I recently worked on a software project that remotely monitored automated industrial machinery. To monitor these devices, it was necessary to learn how to communicate with the machine’s Programmable Logic Controllers, or PLCs. PLCs are both similar to yet so very different from a normal computer that there was a noticeable learning curve. Since most of my projects here at Ayoka typically do not involve bits, Binary Coded Decimals (BCD), hexadecimal, or the methods of converting between these various formats and base, my memory of these concepts has become somewhat faint. Once I refreshed my knowledge of these topics, it became easier to communicate with the PLC.

Fortunately, there were only a few PLC commands that I used often. Requesting the values of blocks from the PLC Memory was easily the most common PLC command I used. The results from this request required a healthy amount of conversion and interpretation so that a normal human being might understand what the electrical usage of Machine 22A is. The second most common PLC command was writing values to memory addresses on the PLC. There were several situations that the PLC would await a “Proceed” signal from the monitor software before it would continue with certain operations.

Developing the web frontend to the monitor software was in many ways easier. It was not all that dissimilar from a typical blog site: query the database for certain values and display the results on the requested page. The quirk in this case was writing the necessary AJAX code to poke the server for new values every second. Thankfully, this was not a major issue and our AJAX practices prevented any performance issues. Overall it was an interesting project that opened my eyes to the world of PLC software development.

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