A Brief History of Programmable Logic Controllers

Jaime E. Love

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If you see any automating equipment in a factory or even some buildings, there is a good chance that a programmable logic controller or PLC is controlling it.

These devices have been around since the late ’60s and have become increasingly important in the industry. Let’s learn about the history of how these programmable logic controllers came to be and how they work today.

The First PLCs

Before PLCs, the only way to change the function of a device was to rewire it physically. This rewiring was not only a time-consuming process but also expensive and prone to error. The first PLCs would be an answer to replace the rewiring of relay panels.

The invention of PLCs was to provide an alternative to this system. It could now be a program that controls the equipment instead of physical wires. This change was a more flexible solution that allowed changes to happen quickly and easily.

Improvements

The ’70s

In the ’70s, PLCs became more sophisticated with the introduction of microprocessors. The microprocessors allowed for more complex programs to run on the PLCs. These programs made PLCs more reliable since they were now less likely to fail due to physical wiring problems.

The ’80s

In the ’80s, PLCs continued to become more advanced. One of the significant advances was the ability to connect PLCs to computers. This advancement allowed for even greater flexibility and complexity in the programs that could run on the PLCs. Additionally, it made monitoring and debugging of programs much more straightforward.

The ’90s

In the ’90s, PLCs became even more advanced with the introduction of Ethernet. This advancement allowed for PLCs to be connected to computers much more effortlessly. Additionally, this made it possible to run programs on multiple PLCs simultaneously.

Trends From Here

PLCs have come a long way since their invention in the late ’60s. They have become increasingly more sophisticated and have worked in various industries. Today, PLCs are an essential part of many factories and buildings. They use PLC input modules to interact with the devices they are controlling.

In the future, PLCs are likely to become even more advanced as new technologies develop. Additionally, they will likely work in wider industries as their benefits become more well-known.

Because of this, it is vital to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and history of PLCs. This knowledge will allow you to make the most of their benefits in your own business or factory.

It can also help your business surge past the competition and succeed. Use programmable logic controllers in your business today to stay ahead of the curve.



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