Design and fabrication of Reconfigurable and portable Programmable logic controller system for training purpose
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The programmable logic controller is an industrial computer system that monitors continuously the state of a machine's input devices and decides upon a program to control the output device. For many years, PLCs have been widely used in a variety of applications which are the most important control elements of several subsystems requiring moderately slow data monitoring. These are personal safety, the radiation control, smoke, and fire alarm. PLCs are very crucial for monitoring and controlling a process. There are inputs and outputs which can be categorized into two types, which are logical and continuous. The input terminals in the PLC helps in interpreting high or low logical states from switches and sensors whereas the output terminals help in signaling power lights, contactors, small motors, solenoids and other devices. As they are industrial computers, their input and output signals are typically 120volts AC, similar to electromechanical control which they are designed to replace. The PLC module for training gives those students pursuing mechanical engineering more knowledge in mechatronics.
It is quite hard to beat the simplicity and usefulness of ladder diagram programming when it is used to replace timers, counters and relays. It is, therefore, a graphical programming technique that came from electrical circuit diagrams. The logic in ladder diagrams flows from left to right where the diagram can be divided into subdivisions called rungs. With an input of instructions, which lead to single output instruction are every rung containing function block instructions which are complicated. In other words, the programming method is vertical which means that the user can visualize what the program does. The vertical line on the left stands on the positive side of the power source while the vertical line on the right side represents the negative side of the power source. If at any case the two lines that are vertical are connected, there is a closed circuit.
Conceptual framework: hardware design and development
According to Miles and Huber man (1994), a conceptual framework is defined as a visual or written product, that explains either graphically or narrative form the main things to be studied the key factors, concepts, or variables and the presumed relationship between them. Description of the hardwares structure is written in the highly specialized language then the code is compiled and downloaded. Schematic captures are less popular because designs have become more complex. All of the inputs signals are processed in parallel because they travel through execution engines. Statement of hardware description language creates structures which operate at the same time.
Programmable logic design process:
Empirical review: conveyor
A study conducted at the De La Salle University, Manila on Prolight Milling Machine for Controls Laboratory, showed that mechanical part of the system in the mechanic design consists of the robotic arm, the conveyor, and the gravity feeder. This is where the fabrication of a miniature line processing conveyor belt is likely to be described, the conveyor belt being 2-ply rubber belt, with a total a total length of 72 inches and a width of 8 inches. The belt thickness should be 1/8 inches where the plates have no trace of a stain as well as the rollers which are placed on the conveyor to avoid sagging of the belt.
PLC training module which is equipped with a robot arm, conveyor belt and wired to a controller can be able to perform a task or a project excellently. PLC has made the mode of communication and technology easier as it has its application areas which to be covered in the next chapter. PLC has become an important element of automation engineering as it integrates safety engineering, technology, and communication.
Bolton, W., & NetLibrary, Inc. (2006). Programmable logic controllers. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Newnes.
Kamel, K., & Kamel, E. (2013). Programmable logic controllers: Industrial control.
Rohner, P. (1996). PLC: automation with programmable logic controllers: A textbook for engineers and technicians. Sydney: UNSW Press.
Shahin, T. M. M., EDC 2002, & Engineering Design Conference. (2002). Computer-based design: Engineering Design Conference 2002 [held at King's College London, UK on the 9-11 July 2002]. Bury St. Edmunds [u.a.: Professional Engineering Publ.
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