Tag Archives: PLC Tutorial

PLC Bits Numbers and Position

People often ask “What is a PLC?” and “PLC Meaning”. A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a piece of hardware that isolates inputs from outputs. Programs are written to look at the inputs solve logic and set the outputs to perform work. Today we are going to look at the basic fundamental way we program. Every PLC company will do this…

Everything in the programmable logic controller actually boils down to bits in the memory.
Memory Bits-min
It is these bits that we manipulate in order to accomplish the work that we need done by the PLC. The instruction set is the method we use to do this. In general, there are several ways to view the bits. Discrete input and output, Numbers and Position of bits will be covered. Understanding the different ways in which we can view these bits will help in developing programs.
Bits are part of the memory of all PLC systems. The memory can be retentive or non-memory retentive. Memory retentive means that if power is lost to the PLC, the status of the bit remains the same when power is restored. If the bit is non-memory retentive, and power is lost the bit returns to the off state. Addressing refers to how the controller understands what memory location to look at. When we address memory in the PLC we can do this in two different ways:
Direct Addressing: Specify a location of the memory location
Indirect Addressing: Specify a location that contains a value to point to the memory location required.
Indirect Addressing Animation

Refer to the manual of the specific PLC that you are using for the way in which memory is addressed and if it is memory retentive or not.

Discrete bits are the basic building blocks in the PLC. When we talk of digital I/O this is referring to the individual bits that you can wire switches, pushbuttons, proximity sensors, or any other device that is either on or off. (1 or 0) They can be usually wired to the PLC as a normally open or normally closed contact. The ladder logic is written in a way that you examine the bit as either on or off.
HOW PLC INPUTS WORK
PLC Input

HOW PLC OUTPUTS WORKPLC Outputs
We also must look at the frequency (rate of change from off to on) of the input bits or output in some cases. The maximum frequency that we can read an input to the PLC will be determined by the scan of the PLC.
Example:
A 2 ms Scan (0.002 second) means that we can read the inputs and solve the logic in 2 ms. In order to ensure that the input is read in both states (on / off) we have to ensure that the input is off or on for at least 2 ms. The maximum frequency (Switching / Second) that the input could switch would be 2 ms = 1/.002 times per second = 500hz

Numbers in the PLC are all based on binary. Analog inputs and outputs are based upon the number of bits put together in order to display the range for the input. (12 bit or 16 bit) The values from the analog 12bit input will go from 000 to FFF base 16 (Hex). Hexadecimal is used to display the binary bits in the word or register. Some of the more common numbering systems in the PLC are binary, hexadecimal, BCD (binary coded decimal) and octal (based on 8 bits)
funny_counter
Additional Information on understanding numbering systems in the PLC:
What Everybody Ought to Know about PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) Numbering Systems

Position of the bits within the word, stack or accumulator can be very useful. Usually we can use this to track items. The typical example of this is to track items on a conveyor belt. The belt movement is usually a pulse input from an encoder. A sensor indicates the item on the conveyor.
PLC PROGRAMMING EXAMPLE – SHIFT REGISTER (CONVEYOR REJECT)
Conveyor Reject

Bits are the basic building blocks that we use to program programmable logic controllers. The three ways to view bits (Discrete, Number and Position) will help use to understand the different ways to program.
Here are some additional links that you may find helpful:
Five Steps to PLC Program Development
PLC Programming Example – Process Mixer
PLC Programming Example – Shift Register (Conveyor Reject)
PLC Programming Example – Paint Spraying

The Secret of Using Counters
The Secret of Using Timers

Watch on YouTube : PLC Bits Numbers and Position
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.

Building a PLC Program That You Can Be Proud Of – Part 6

We will continue the series by looking at a sequencer controlling seven cylinders that can be taught. The cylinders can be operator programmed from the AdvancedHMI screen. You will be able to select what cylinders to activate at each step and program in 500 steps. Our PLC will be the Do-More from Automation Direct.
Cylinder Teach HMI 110-min

Here is a quick review of the programming series so far. If you are new to the site, we recommend reviewing the other parts in the series first.
In part 1 we looked at writing PLC programs to control a traffic light using discrete bits and then using timed sequencing using indirect addressing.
Part 2 used indirect addressing for inputs as well as output to control the sequence of pneumatic (air) cylinders in the program. Part 3 and 4 we returned to the traffic light application and expand our program significantly. We looked at the sequence of operation using Input, output and mask tables.
In part 5 we used the AdvancedHMI software to create the game of Simon. A round in the game consists of the device lighting up one or more buttons in a random order, after which the player must reproduce that order by pressing the buttons. As the game progresses, the number of buttons to be pressed increases.

We will be using AdvancedHMI to communicate Modbus TCP to the Automation Direct Do-More Designer Software Simulator. The following is the sequence of operation:
Watch on YouTube : Running the Cylinder Sequence (PLC / HMI)
Note: All of the  programs used are provided free of charge and are an excellent way to learn PLC / HMI programming.

The following table is the Modbus TCP memory map to the Do-More PLC:

Coil/Register Numbers Data Addresses Type Do-More PLC Table Name
00001-09999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MC1 to MC1023 Discrete Output Coils
10001-19999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MI1 to MI1023 Discrete Input Contacts
30001-39999 0000 to 270E Read-Only MIR1 to MIR2047 Analog Input Registers
40001-49999 0000 to 270E Read-Write MHR1 to MHR2047 Analog Output Holding Registers

Cylinder Teach HMI 100-min
Here are the inputs and outputs we will be using for our program:

Device Data Addresses Type Do-More PLC Description
Start Pushbutton 00011 Input MC11
Stop Pushbutton 00012 Input MC12
Jog Pushbutton 00013 Input MC13
Reset Pushbutton 00014 Input MC14
Run/ Jog Selector 00008 / 00015 Input/ Output MC8 / MC15  MC8 is the value and MC15 is the click
Light Stack 00010 / 00009 / 00008 Output MC10 / MC9 / MC8  Red / Green / Amber
Set Pushbutton 00071 Input MC71
Jog / Teach Selector 00070 Input MC70  MC70 on is teach mode
Sequence Step (Panel Meter) 40001 Output MHR1  Current step in the sequence
Inputs Actual 40002 Input MHR2  Show the actual inputs in binary format
Output Sequence 40003 Output MHR3  Show the actual outputs in a binary format
Input Sequence 40004 Input MHR4  Show the input sequence bits in a binary format
Cylinder 1 to 7 – value 00001 to 00007 Output MC1 to MC7  Determine if cylinder is on/off
Cylinder 1 to 7 – set (click) 00041 to 00047 Input MC41 to MC47  Set the cylinder button
Cylinder 1 to 7 – retract indicators 00021 to 00027 Input MC21 to MC27 Indicate cylinder has retracted
Cylinder 1 to 7 – extend indicators 00031 to 00037 Input MC31 to MC37 Indicate cylinder has extended
Cylinder 1 to 7 – extend / retract error indicators 00050 to 00063 Output MC50 to MC63 Indicate cylinder input error when jogging

The first thing we will do is design the HMI. We have three main areas on the screen. Basic Controls, Cylinder Visualization and the Sequence Step/Teach area. Please refer to the above reference chart for the inputs and outputs programmed on the screen.
Cylinder Teach HMI 130-min

Basic Controls:
This area will allow us to see what mode we are in via the stack light. Red – Stop
Yellow – Jog / Teach Mode – Troubleshooting
Green – Run
Cylinder Teach HMI 101-min

Cylinder Visualization:
Each cylinder will have indication lights to determine status of the cylinder. (Extended / Retracted)
The cylinder will also have red indication lights to reflect the differences between the current sequence and the next sequence step. This is visible when we are in jog mode.
Cylinder Teach HMI 102-min

Sequence Step/Teach:
When in jog or teach mode the sequence step is visible, which indicates the current step that we are on. The inputs and outputs are displayed as a binary value which represents the actual inputs and outputs. This is valuable when troubleshooting and finding errors in the system. The set button is visible when in teach mode. When pushed the outputs and inputs are set for that step and the sequence will then increment.
Cylinder Teach HMI 103-min

The following is the code for each of the words that the DataScribers are reading. This includes the code to change the word into a 16 bit binary value.

Private Sub DataSubscriber1_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber1.DataChanged
'Label1.Text = Hex(DataSubscriber1.Value)Dim i As Integer = DataSubscriber1.Value
Label1.Text = Convert.ToString(i, 2).PadLeft(16, "0") '16 bits
End Sub
Private Sub DataSubscriber2_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber2.DataChanged
'Label2.Text = Hex(DataSubscriber2.Value)
Dim i As Integer = DataSubscriber2.Value
Label2.Text = Convert.ToString(i, 2).PadLeft(16, "0") '16 bits
End Sub
Private Sub DataSubscriber3_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber3.DataChanged
Dim i As Integer = DataSubscriber3.Value
Label3.Text = Convert.ToString(i, 2).PadLeft(16, "0") '16 bits
End Sub
Private Sub DataSubscriber4_DataChanged(sender As Object, e As Drivers.Common.PlcComEventArgs) Handles DataSubscriber4.DataChanged
If DataSubscriber4.Value = True Then
     Label1.Visible = True
     Label2.Visible = True
     Label3.Visible = True
     Label4.Visible = True
     Label5.Visible = True
Else
     Label1.Visible = False
     Label2.Visible = False
     Label3.Visible = False
     Label4.Visible = False
     Label5.Visible = False
End If
End Sub

We will now look at the PLC ladder program. The program is broken down into several parts as follows:

ACC Automation
This is the main start / stop circuit of the program.
If we are in run mode the green light will be on. (MC9)
If we are not in jog mode (MC8) this circuit will be functional.
Cylinder Teach PLC 100-min

If we are not run mode (MC9) or in jog mode (MC8) then the stop mode is active.
This will turn on the red light. (MC10)
Cylinder Teach PLC 110-min

Run / Jog – Toggle Circuit
Flip Flop circuit to set the jog function
Cylinder Teach PLC 120-min

Move the outputs to the physical outputs when we go to run mode.
Cylinder Teach PLC 130-min

Indirect Addresses for the Program
V0 – Input pointer – 100 – 499
V1 – Output pointer – 500 – 999
V2 – Input pointer last step in sequence
V3 – Output pointer last step in sequence
V10 – Inputs to the sequencer
V20 – Outputs from the sequencer
Cylinder Teach PLC 140-min

Jog Mode – Jog Pushbutton
Cylinder Teach PLC 150-min

Reset the sequencer pointers. This will happen automatically in run mode or by hitting the reset button in jog or stop mode.
Cylinder Teach PLC 160-min

Teach Function
This first rung will activate the values so we can manually turn them off/on with the HMI screen.
Cylinder Teach PLC 170-min

This will reset the pointers when going into teach mode.
Cylinder Teach PLC 180-min

This will set the teach point and increment to the next step.
Cylinder Teach PLC 190-min

Show the current step of the sequence.
Note: 0 is the first step
Cylinder Teach PLC 200-min

Set the inputs for cylinders.
The actural physical input points would be inserted here.
HMI inputs from the cylinders have a 500ms delay to simulate the movement of the actual cylinder.
Cylinder Teach PLC 210-min Cylinder Teach PLC 220-min

Set the actual inputs / sequencer inputs / sequencer outputs so we can monitor this on the HMI.
Cylinder Teach PLC 230-min

Set the outputs for cylinders.
This will set the physical output points Y1 to Y7.
This will also set the HMI cylinders MC1 to MC7 (00001 to 00007)
Cylinder Teach PLC 240-min Cylinder Teach PLC 250-min Cylinder Teach PLC 260-min

Diagnostic Bits for indicating the difference for the inputs to the PLC. This will show up as a red indication light on the cyclinder represented on the HMI.
Cylinder Teach PLC 270-min Cylinder Teach PLC 280-min

This section of PLC logic will mimic the inputs from the cylinders.
Cylinder 1 – Retract MC21 (00021) – Extend MC31 (00031)
Cylinder 2 – Retract MC22 (00022) – Extend MC32 (00032)
Cylinder 3 – Retract MC23 (00023) – Extend MC33 (00033)
Cylinder 4 – Retract MC24 (00024) – Extend MC34 (00034)
Cylinder 5 – Retract MC25 (00025) – Extend MC35 (00035)
Cylinder 6 – Retract MC26 (00026) – Extend MC36 (00036)
Cylinder 7 – Retract MC27 (00027) – Extend MC37 (00037)

Between each funtion of the cylinder there is a time delay for the input to turn on and off of 500msec.
Cylinder Teach PLC 290-min

Cylinder 2 – Retract MC22 (00022) – Extend MC32 (00032)
Cylinder Teach PLC 300-min

Cylinder 3 – Retract MC23 (00023) – Extend MC33 (00033)
Cylinder Teach PLC 310-min

Cylinder 4 – Retract MC24 (00024) – Extend MC34 (00034)
Cylinder Teach PLC 320-min

Cylinder 5 – Retract MC25 (00025) – Extend MC35 (00035)
Cylinder Teach PLC 330-min

Cylinder 6 – Retract MC26 (00026) – Extend MC36 (00036)
Cylinder Teach PLC 340-min

Cylinder 7 – Retract MC27 (00027) – Extend MC37 (00037)
Cylinder Teach PLC 350-min

This is the end of the PLC program. You can see that the program is not very complicated once you break down the individual steps.

Download the PLC program and the Bin directory for the AdvancedHMI screen.

Watch on YouTube : Building a PLC Program that You can be Proud Of – Part 6b – Explaining the Program
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,
Garry



If you’re like most of my readers, you’re committed to learning about technology. Numbering systems used in PLC’s are not difficult to learn and understand. We will walk through the numbering systems used in PLCs. This includes Bits, Decimal, Hexadecimal, ASCII and Floating Point.

To get this free article, subscribe to my free email newsletter.


Use the information to inform other people how numbering systems work. Sign up now.

The ‘Robust Data Logging for Free’ eBook is also available as a free download. The link is included when you subscribe to ACC Automation.