The PLC controllers in many plants are networked together to allow them to communicate with each other and share information. Using Produced and Consumed tags is one common method to set up this type of communications between separate processors.
A “getting started” explanation would be that “Produced” data is “Broadcast” (or transmitted) out onto the network by one controller – while “Consumed” data is “received” from the network by another controller.
From a maintenance technician’s point of view, the biggest challenge is often to track down precisely where the “consumed” data signal is coming from. Using a simple “Find All” or “Cross Reference” search won’t work. That’s because there will be no “Message” command (or any other type of logic) in either of the processors’ programs to provide a clue as to where the signal is originating.
Our Boot Camp classes have hands-on exercises available to cover the troubleshooting skills you’ll need to work with these types of signals.