A PLC ( or programmable logic controller) is essentially a digital computer used to control manufacturing processes or robotic devices where simple functionality is necessary.
A CPU (central processing unit) is an integral aspect of the PLC system. PLC CPUs are microprocessor-based and act as the electronic circuitry within an industrial computer. They carry out instructions from the computer program, performing basic operations.
PLC controllers are predominantly used to ensure that machinery functions correctly . They are used to make electromechanical processes automated, ranging from the switching on and off of lights, to equipment and automated processes. PLCs work perfectly for those processes where an automated action ensures smooth working of the machine.
Programmable logic controllers are divided into small, medium and large modular categories. Small control systems are designed to be robust and compact and can be placed on the side or top of a machine. Medium controllers use more complex setups using rack mounting or backplane systems, allowing for simple upgrading via additional function cards. Large systems are used in large manufacturing outputs, with a more complex process that requires constant monitoring and safety.
PLCs are modular in their design, and so they can be used for a multitude of different operations. This also means they can be plugged into different setups, making them multifunctional and flexible.
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