How to maintain a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)
As many of us know, PLCs (programmable logic controllers) are staples in the factory automation world. In order to have them running optimally and as efficiently as possible, routine maintenance is imperative. Generally, manufacturers produce PLCs to endure strenuous, unsterilized environments. By adhering to an adequate maintenance schedule, PLCs operating timeframe can be lengthened.
Protect your PLC
Always be on the lookout for corrosive and conductive contaminants that have the potential to become a detriment to a PLCs’ components. By completing visual inspections for black dust and blowing airborne particles from the PLC’s vicinity, you are lowering the likelihood of contamination.
Is power flowing?
A PLC will not operate correctly without adequate power. To avoid any operation bugs, remain vigilant of any surges or shorts.
Calibrate Analog Components
Always refer to the preventative maintenance schedule for any analog input device. Analog inputs need to be cleaned regularly and calibrated as accurately as possible.
Take EMI into consideration
EMI (electromagnetic interference) is known to cause horrible issues for PLCs without clearly indicating what the specific issue is or how to go about fixing it. To remain ahead of the game, many perform an audit of the local wiring to pinpoint potential EMI sources before they interfere with the operation of your PLC. Lower-level components and high-current wires often interfere with each other, which wiring designs must take into consideration.
Additional PLC Maintenance Tips
By creating a PLC maintenance checklist and adhering to it strictly, operating errors can likely be avoided. The space between the PLC and the machine it’s controlling should be minimal.