Modicon PLC History

Modicon PLC History

Modicon PLC History

 

Richard E. Morley, also known as Dick, was an American electrical engineer. He was an employee at Bedford and Associates, located in Massachusetts. He is most commonly known for his involvement with the production of the first Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) for General Motors and the Modicon in 1968. General Motors Company, often referred to as GM, is an American multinational corporation that is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan that engineers, manufactures, markets and distributes vehicles and vehicle parts and sells financial services.

Known as an author, educator, influencer and specialized engineer, Morleys’ accomplishments and contributions have earned him numerous awards from families such as ISA (the instrumentation systems and automation society), Inc. Magazine, Franklin Institute, SME (the Society of Manufacturing Engineers), and the Engineering Society of Detroit. SME offers the Richard E. Morley Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award for outstanding technical accomplishments in the manufacturing space by engineers age 35 and younger.

Schneider Electric currently owns the Modicon brand of PLCs. The PLC has been recognized as a major advancement in the automation space and has had an unprecedented impact on the manufacturing community as a whole. PLCs were designed to replace re-wiring and hard-wired control panels with software program changes when production updates were necessary. Before PLCs came about, several relays, drum sequencers, cam timers and closed-loop controllers were used to manufacture vehicles and vehicle parts. Re-wiring the relays and other necessary components was a very in-depth and costly process, but clearly worth the effort. The Modicon 084 PLC was modeled to be programmed in ‘ladder logic’ which had the look of the schematic diagrams of relay logic it was replacing.  This made the transition to PLCs easier for engineers and other professionals in the manufacturing space.  The automotive industry is still one of, if not the largest users of PLCs today. MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Modicon parts available including the Modicon Quantum series. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

The Modicon PLC Timeline

A few years later, in the 1970’s, dialogue between PLCs came about. Introduced as the first industrial communications network, Modbus was based on a Slave/Master architecture that used messaging to communicate between Modbus nodes. All and all, a lacking standardization made PLC communications a nightmare.

In the  1980’s, General Electric made an effort to regiment the interconnection of devices from several manufacturers with MAP (manufacturing automation protocol). PLC programming software was also created to operate on personal as well as professional computers in order to remove the need for dedicated programming terminals or handheld programmers.

As years have gone on, PLCs have evolved as technology evolves. Nowadays, they include process, motion, and distributed control systems, as well as complex networking. Equivalent to an average, run-of-the-mill desktop computer, PLCs have capacities for data handling storage and impressive processing power.

 

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