First the “good news” – from a programmer’s viewpoint …
Allen-Bradley’s new ControlLogix and CompactLogix controllers offer many powerful new features and capabilities to a programmer’s toolbox.
Now the “bad news” – from a technician’s viewpoint …
For a technician all of these new “bells and whistles” can add up to a lot of extra complexity while trying to troubleshoot a piece of machinery – especially if the technician has never run into these new programming techniques before.
Since the beginning days of PLCs, most programs have been written using Ladder Diagrams in an effort to make the programs understandable to the electricians who serviced the machinery. Now lately it seems that the primary focus has shifted away from maintenance – and toward giving the programmers more power, more flexibility, and more control over the programs that they develop.
For just a few specific examples: in addition to Ladder Diagrams, we’re now seeing more and more programs being written using Structured Text, Function Block Diagrams, Sequential Function Charts, and Equipment Phases.
Whether all of this flexibility is a “good thing” or a “bad thing” depends a lot on your personal point of view. But regardless of your own preferences, to become an effective troubleshooter you’ll need a firm understanding of any (and all) of the programming techniques being used in your plant’s systems.
So … which pieces of this gigantic puzzle will you need?
This section of our website is designed to help answer that question. Feel free to browse around and explore the index shown here. The links listed below will take you to additional pages for more detail. And above all, please consider giving us a call if you have questions. You won’t get a “sales pitch” – just free friendly advice to help you understand how this whole thing fits together. Naturally with this much material involved, the old saying that “one size fits all” will certainly NOT apply.
Our five-day Boot Camp classes come with a 100% money-back satisfaction guarantee. The first step toward making you satisfied is to carefully identify the target – before we start taking shots at it. Let’s work together to get that critical step done correctly.
Please note that this section of our website is still “under construction” – and more material is being added as time permits. Thank you for your patience – and feel free to call us if you have any specific questions.
The links below should take you to more detail about the most commonly used programming techniques.
002 Controller Tags
008 Program Tags
009 Ladder Diagrams
010 Structured Text
011 Function Block Diagrams
012 Sequential Function Charts
015 ASCII Communications
017 Source Protection
018 Equipment Phases
032 Program Parameters
036 Equipment Sequence Diagrams
046 Tag Arrays
050 PID for Process Control
051 PIDE for Process Control
061 Add-On Instructions
066 User-Defined Data Types
072 Trend Feature
082 Ethernet I/O
094 DHRIO module for “Blue Hose” remote I/O
095 Remote I/O Digital
098 Remote I/O Analog
104 ControlNet I/O
113 DeviceNet I/O
117 Produced and Consumed Tags
121 RSLinx Classic Software for Communications