Tag Archives: Controllers

What is a PLC?

A Programmable Logic Controller, abbreviated as “PLC” is a computer used to address the issues of a particular assembling process. These devices come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, with numerous alternatives for computerized and simple I/O, as well as protection from high temperatures, vibration, and electrical noise. The invention of the PLC allows for computers to be streamlined into the industrial automation process.

A PLC can be a solitary device figuring and executing operations, or a rack of various modules utilized to meet whatever your automation system requires. A portion of the extra parts include processors, power supplies, additional IO, interfaces, and more. Each part cooperates to have the option to run open or shut circle activities that are appraised at fast and high accuracy. Take a CNC machine for instance; a PLC would be utilized to control positioning, motion, and torque control. These devices are popular since they are inexpensive in relation to the amount of power and lifespan they possess. PLCs can run for hours on end. 

The diagram below displays the process of a Programmable Logic Controller system.

History of PLCs

Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) first hit the scene in the late 1960s. The essential purpose behind planning such a device was eliminating the high cost required to replace the complicated relay based control systems for major U.S. vehicle makers. There was a primary issue and that was that they were mechanical. This implies that they wear out and must be replaced from time to time. Additionally, relays take up too much room. These, alongside different contemplations, prompted the advancement of PLCs. More enhancements to PLCs happened during the ’70s. In 1973 the ability to communicate between PLCs was introduced. This made it possible to have the controlling circuit perform at a distance from the machine it was controlling. In several cases, the absence of institutionalization in PLCs caused a few different issues. This was improved in the 1980s. The size of PLCs was additionally decreased, which meant plants were utilizing space much more effectively. The ’90s expanded the assortment of manners by which a PLC could be modified such as block programs and a guidance list. They also observed PLCs being replaced by PC’s in a few cases. Be that as it may, PLCs are still being used in a wide range of businesses, and it’s going to remain that way in the foreseeable future.

How It Works “The Three Tasks”

The way a PLC works is very straightforward: The PLC receives data from associated sensors or information devices, processes the information, and triggers outputs dependent on pre-customized parameters. 

Depending on the inputs and outputs, a PLC can monitor and record run-time data such as machine productivity or operating temperature, automatically start and stop processes, generate alarms if a machine malfunctions, and that’s just the beginning. Programmable Logic Controllers are a versatile and powerful control arrangement, adaptable to practically any application.

A PLC essentially performs three tasks: a PLC checks the information inputs, goes through the program, and changes the outputs. Then, it circles back to the top and starts once more. This appears incredibly straightforward, however, it tends to be made very complex with various sources of I/O. The scan time is the time it takes for the PLC to experience the three fundamental tasks. This time is significant, as it influences how rapidly the inputs of info can be read. The sources of info should be on or off long enough for the PLC to read them. On the off chance that they are not on that long, issues begin to occur. Luckily, there are approaches to fix this issue. Perhaps the most ideal way is to utilize an interrupt at whatever point an input goes to high. This will guarantee that the PLC doesn’t miss the change.

Inputs and Outputs (I/Os)

As we’ve seen up until this point, inputs and outputs are very important to the activity of a PLC. Two key components to consider in picking the privilege PLC are the quantity of I/Os and their location. Since PLC controls undergo a large process, you will need to ensure it can deal with various I/Os. The quantity of both analog and discrete devices that your system has will affect this choice too. Remember that the quantity of I/Os will likewise decide the size of your PLC’s body. The location of I/Os will also have an effect on your choice. Will your framework require a local I/O, or will you need both local and remote I/Os? Subsystems are needed to answer these questions sufficiently. Keep in mind that the speeds and distance at which your PLC operates is important for this.

PLC Acronyms Worth Knowing

These acronyms will help you better understand what exactly you are looking for.

ASCIIAmerican Standard Code for Information Interchange
BCDBinary Coded Decimal
CSACanadian Standards Association
DIODistributed I/O
EIAElectronic Industries Association
EMIElectroMagnetic Interference
HMIHuman Machine Interface
IECInternational Electrotechnical Commission
IEEEInstitute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
I/OInput(s) and/or Output(s)
ISOInternational Standards Organization
LLLadder Logic
LSBLeast Significant Bit
MMIMan Machine Interface
MODICONModular Digital Controller
MSBMost Significant Bit
PIDProportional Integral Derivative (feedback control)
RFRadio Frequency
RIORemote I/O
RTURemote Terminal Unit
SCADASupervisory Control And Data Acquisition
TCP/IPTransmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol

What to Consider When Buying a PLC

  • Will the framework be powered
  •  by AC or DC voltage? 
  • Will the system be situated in one spot or spread out over a huge region?
  • Does the system run quick enough to meet my application’s necessities? 
  • What kind of programming is utilized to program the PLC? 
  • Whenever required by your application, can the PLC handle simple data inputs and outputs, or perhaps a mix of both? How am I going to speak with my PLC? 
  • Do I need to arrange availability and would it be able to be added to my PLC? 
  • Will the PLC have the option to deal with the quantity of information inputs and outputs that my application requires? 
  • Does the PLC have enough memory to run my user program? 
  • Inputs and Outputs (I/Os)

Looking To Buy?

Check out our collection of PLCs at the link “Showing PLC”  below. We provide you with the thousands of Program Logic Controllers by the brands Schneider Electric, SIEMENS, and Yaskawa at the best prices. Below are just a few PLC devices we have for sale on our website. Please visit and contact us if you have any questions.  Showing PLC.

Kawasaki E3/E7/E9 Controllers

Being a leader of the robotics industry for over 50 years, Kawasaki has developed one of the most complete lines of e-controllers on the market. All of these controllers are suited with a wide array of features including:

  • High powered CPU performence
  • Large, easy to use LCD Display
  • Optimized key layout
  • Easily accessible safety switches

The E76/77 family of controllers are very compact and used for smaller robot arms. One of these arms are the RS003N Robot, which has a maximum payload of 3kg and has horizontal and vertical reaches of 620mm and 967mm, respectively. The controllers with these robots specialize in assembly and material handling applications.

The E9 family of robotic teach pedants are also built very compact, however these devices are typically used in medium-duty applications. Unlike the other two families of controllers, the E9 family features an open structure system with a direct cooling system. However, like the E7 and E3 families, the enclosed structure with indirect cooling is an available option. The E9 family takes full advantage of the digital servo drive powering it to have a maximum payload capacity of 40kg.

E30/32/33/34 controllers at their base are very alike the E76/77 controllers but with more power. These devices are not as compact as the previous devices we have discussed, however the reason being they are highly expandable and are easier to maintain. Features such as Kawasaki’s K-Logic sequencer software allow the addition of up to 16 total controllable axes. The E3 family of Kawasaki e-controllers are able to handle the following maximum payloads:

  • E30 – 145 kg
  • E32 – 180 kg
  • E33 – 195 kg
  • E34 – 180 kg

If you are interested in learning how to purchase the robot arm, the controller, or any other part/device that goes into an industrial robotic set-up, please call MRO Electric and Supply at (800)691-8511 or email us at sales@mroelectric.com and we will help you get what you need.

3HAC028357-001

ABB Robotics 3HAC028357-001 Teach Pendant

The 3HAC028357-001 is a modern ABB Robotics Teach Pendant designed to be used with the IRC5 Industrial Robot Control, one of the most popular robotics controls on the market. Also known as the “FlexPendant”, the 3HAC028357-001 is characterized by its clean, color touch screen-based design and 3D joystick for intuitive interaction.

The 3HAC028357-001 TPU (or teach pendant unit) is a hand held operator unit used to perform many of the tasks involved when operating a robot system: running programs, jogging the manipulator, modifying robot programs and so on.

The FlexPendant is designed for continuous operation in harsh industrial environment. Its touch screen is easy to clean and resistant to water, oil and accidental welding splashes.

ABB FlexPendant

The 3HAC028357-001 replaces the legacy 3HAC023195-001 teach pendant.

The standard cost for a new ABB 3HAC028357-001 direct from the manufacturer or authorized distributor is typically in the $6000-7,000 range. MRO Electric is able to supply these pendants at a much lower price point, and we warranty all of our robotics parts for 12 months.

If you would like a free quote on a replacement ABB 3HAC028357-001, please email us at sales@mroelectric.com or call 800-691-8511.

Motoman Teach Pendants And More

Yaskawa Motoman, an American subsidiary of Yaskawa Electric Corporation, was founded in 1989 and since then have been able to get over 380,000 industrial robots, 10 million servos, and 18 million drives into automation systems around the world. Robots are the wave of the future and Yaskawa Motoman is at the top of this market. Using an automated robotic system in your work space will allow you to free up many other costs and resources that may not have been available before.  The key to efficiency is simplicity and using  Motoman Teach Pendants to give instructions to your robot makes that possible.

Teach Pendants are non-tethered devices that allow your robot to be controlled remotely. These devices are crucial for industrial robotics as they are not only used for assigning operations but they are able to edit commands, emergency stop commands, and even view past operations. Motoman Teach Pendants are split between the older models(ERC, XRC, MRC) and the newer models(DX and NX Series’).

MRC

The older models such as the MRC, which came out in 1994, were able to increase the workload of an industrial robot by up to 300%. This was also the first time ever that a single teach pendant was able to control two robots at the same time. Four years later when the XRC model was released, it was a huge improvement as Motoman was able to add control of more axes and even up its synchronous control of two robots to four industrial robots.

nx100

Later in 2004, the NX series of controllers was released. These devices featured Windows CE with a high-power processor, back-lit color touchscreen, built-in ethernet, and a huge amount of memory. A single teach pendant can control up to 36 axes and 4 separate robots. It’s Advanced Robot Motion control allows for the most accurate results. For information about the DX series, please visit one of our previous blog posts featuring the DX200 controller and Yaskawa’s new ArcWorld project.

Looking inside the ArcWorld 6000 and DX200 Controller

Yaskawa’s ArcWorld 6000 line of robotic welding systems offer the most cost efficient and powerful solution to your welding needs. ArcWorlds are pre-built, easy to install, and ready to run immediately after installation. The units can configured with multiple robots, a heavy duty positioner or servo controlled external axes. The 6000 line can handle payloads from 755 kg to 1255 kg over a 2 or 3 meter span.  There are many other cool benefits to running the ArcWorld over a traditional welding system:

  • All controllers and power sources are installed and shipped on the frame for minimal setup
  • The world class MA1440 arc used for welding can be combined with multiple robots to cut cycle time by 15%
  • Twist locking connectors for all cabling
  • Fully compliant with most recent robot safety standards (ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012)
  • A standard workcell is only documented and supported by Yaskawa Motoman

arcworld 6000

The RM2-Series Positioners are are powered with three AC servo motor drives and have a payload capacity of 1555 on each side. With a 6.5 second rapid indexing time, the positioners have a part length between 3000mm and 3500mm. Convenient slip ring built for  the fixture of utilites such as Ethernet and DeviceNet. The positioner uses MotoMount mounting technology inside of the Yaskawa ArcWorld Unit.

Typically used inside of the ArcWorld 6000 line is the DX200 controller. These controllers can coordinate motion between 8 robots with up to 72 axes. Its Advanced Robot Motion control gives the ArcWorld unit the ability to use the arc’s at their peak performance with pinpoint precision. DX200 controllers are available with Cat 3 Functional Safety Unit. Maintenance is hardly necessary as these controllers efficiently use energy and use top of the line prevention methods for most types of failures. Contact Yaskawa Motoman right now to inquiry on price options for different ArcWorld models and make your automation system perform at its best.

dx200

KUKA teach pendant

KUKA Teach Pendants

MRO Electric and Supply distributes a variety of KUKA Teach Pendants for KRC1, KRC2, and KRC3 controls. We also can supply the new KRC4 smartPAD. The smartPAD pendant  is the latest type of KUKA teach pendant, designed to allow users to perform even the most complex operating tasks with ease – even those with little experience.  It features an 8.4″ display size with a industrial touch screen.

KUKA smartPAD Teach Pendant

The ergonomic design of the KUKA smartPAD creates a pendant with reduced weight and an anatomically comfortable operation. It can be used to operate all KUKA robots that have a KR C4 controller. Its 6D mouse allows for movement and reorientation of the robot on all axes.

All smartPADs are programmed using the KRL – KUKA programming language. This easy to learn robotics language is very intuitive, and can be used to create customized robotic motions with ease. You can also synchronize your programming with up to 6 KUKA robots. The other major benefit of the smartPAD teach pendant is that  it can be hot swapped at any time from a KR C4 controller – just simply plug it in and use.

Legacy KUKA Teach Pendants

MRO Electric also distributes a number of legacy KUKA teach pendants. We recognize that there are still a variety of older KUKA controllers still in use today. Rather than having to upgrade your control system when one of your pendants fail, we can ship you a replacement pendant to minimize any downtime.

If for some reason our stock is depleted, we can usually repair your KUKA pendant in as little as 3-5 days. Visit our main KUKA product page to see all the KUKA teach pendants that we can supply or repair.

For more information or to request a quote on a replacement pendant or panel, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

plc

How to maintain a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller)

Updated: March 2020

Why is PLC Maintenance Important?

PLCs (programmable logic controllers) are such an integral part of the automation world, and in turn a major contributor to the industrial market. Downtime can be incredibly costly, and finding parts for legacy units can be difficult and time consuming. (MRO Electric sells many legacy and discontinued automation components, from top brands) Therefore, properly maintaining your PLC can avoid unnecessary headaches and get the most life out of your units.

Pre-Maintenance Checklist

Before starting preventative maintenance on your PLC, make sure to do the following:

  1. Back up your PLC program prior to getting your hands dirty (it’s also a good idea to always keep a master copy of operating programs on hand).
  2. Follow proper lockout/tagout procedures.
  3. Remove power from the system. Power should always be off and unplugged during maintenance.
  4. Audit all parts in use.

PLC Maintenance Procedures

This is a good guidebook to use when performing preventive PLC maintenance:

  1. Check environmental factors / operating conditions. Humidity, temperature and other factors play an important role in the longevity and proper operation of your components. Be sure that these factors are consistently within the range of your PLCs optimal operating conditions.
  2. Clear debris, dust, and buildup from your units. A clean working environment for your PLC is a great way to prevent downtime. Also, dust getting to the circuit boards could cause a catastrophic short circuit.
  3. Clean or replace all filters installed in enclosures. This allows your PLC to get the maximum airflow and ensures consistency.
  4. Check all your connections for a tight fit, especially I/O modules. This is a very simple way to make sure everything is working smoothly. Also, a loose connection may cause lasting damage to your components.
  5. Inspect I/O devices for proper adjustments.
  6. Check LED battery indicators on the RAM memory module in the CPU. If the OK LED is on or flashing, replace the battery ASAP.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Calibrate circuit cards with process control analogs every 6 months.
  2. Service devices such as sensors every month.
  3. Never place other pieces of equipment that produce lots of noise or heat close to your PLC.

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.

MRO Electric and Supply has new and refurbished Modicon PLC parts available here. We also offer repair pricing. For more information, please call 800-691-8511 or email sales@mroelectric.com.

The Modicon 984 Family of PLCs

The Modicon 984 family of PLCs  bring the high performance,
application flexibility, and programming compatibility of the 984 family to the small
controller market. As a controller in the 984 family, Compacts implement a common
instruction set for developing user logic, standard Modbus communication
functionality, and optional Modbus Plus communication capabilities.
The Compact Controllers share the following 984 processing architecture features:
– A memory section that stores user logic, state RAM, and system overhead in
battery-backed CMOS RAM and holds the system’s Executive firmware in
nonvolatile PROM or FLASH RAM
– A CPU section that solves the user logic program based on the current input
values in state RAM, then updates the output values in state RAM
– An I/O processing section that directs the flow of signals from input modules to
state RAM and provides a path over which output signals from the CPU’s logic
solve are sent to the output modules
– A communications section that provides one or more port interfaces. These
interfaces allow the controller to communicate with programming panels, host
computers, hand-held diagnostic tools and other master devices, as well as with
additional controllers and other nodes on a Modbus (or Modbus Plus) network
 
This architectural consistency allows the The Modicon 984 Family of PLCs to achieve machine compatibility with the other controllers in the family. This allows sequences of user logic created on a mid-range or high performance controller, such as a 984B or a
984-685 Controller,-to be relocated to a Compact. It also assures that user logic
generated for this small controller is upwardly compatible to larger 984(s). Thus, a
Compact can be easily integrated into a multi-controller network.
 
For more info you can visit our web page here or call 1-800-691-8511 or you can even email sales@mroelectric.com.