Tag Archives: plc ladder logic basics

Click PLC HMI Rotary Encoder Dial Input

Rotary encoders are modern digital devices that have taken over from the potentiometer in stereos and many other applications. This is because of their fine digital control and they can fully rotate without end stops. We can connect the rotary encoder into the PLC using just two digital inputs. This human machine interface (HMI) has the advantage over touch screens and other methods of control into the PLC. The operator can control the rate and set point with the dial (rotary encoder) without looking at the control. This will allow the operator to concentration on other tasks.

We will be connecting a rotary encoder with dial into the Click PLC. The signals being sent from the rotary encoder will be explained. Different methods of programming this input in our PLC will be discussed. Let’s get started. Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Update Firmware

Firmware is usually PLC operating system code that is written into a read only memory. The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) of a PC (personal computer) is a good example of firmware. It provides the low level interface between the hardware and software. The Click PLC firmware comes with the programming software.

We will be updating our firmware of our Click PLC from 2.10 to 2.30. Let’s get started! Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Send and Receive Instructions

Receive and Send instructions will allow you to send and receive serial data to an external device. The communication method that you setup can be ASCII or Modbus. ASCII (American Standard Communication for Information Interchange) can be used to send to devices such as a printer. Receiving ASCII can be used for connecting barcode scanners to the PLC. The barcode will be read as an ASCII string in the PLC. Modbus serial communication (Modbus RTU) is a standard protocol used in many automation devices. We will demonstrate the Send and Receive instruction by communicating Modbus to a Solo Temperature Controller. Our example will read the current process (PV) value and write the set point value (SV) in the controller.  Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Drum Instruction

Drum instructions are great tools when you have a simple sequence of events that need to occur at a set time interval or as a result of an event. They mimic an electromechanically drum sequencer. The Click PLC has a drum in the instruction set. We will discuss the drum instruction and look at an example of controlling traffic lights.  Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Shift Register Instruction

Allot of times when programming a PLC you need to track what has previously happened. Shift registers allow you to do just that. The Click PLC has a shift register in the instruction set. We will discuss the shift register and look at an example.  Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Numbering System and Addressing

Continuing our series, we will now look at the numbering systems and addressing used in the Click PLC. Previously we have discussed:
System Hardware – Video
Installing the SoftwareVideo
Establish CommunicationVideo
The programming software and manuals can be downloaded from the Automation Direct website free of charge. These are being used exclusively in our Click PLC series.  Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Establish Communication

So far in this series we have discussed the Click PLC System Hardware (Video) and Installed the Software (Video). Today we will be establishing PC to PLC communications. This will allow us to program, edit or alter the way in which our Click PLC will function.  Keep on Reading!

Click PLC Installing the Software

Previously we discussed the Click PLC System Hardware – Video. Today we will be installing the free software required to program the PLC. This includes the actual program and communication drivers.  Keep on Reading!

Click PLC System Hardware

Many people ask me what I do when looking at a new PLC model or system. My approach is very straight forward and we will view this in action with this Click PLC series. This series will go from examining the hardware to programming and communicating to the PLC in several ways. If you have questions along the way, please let me know. Keep on Reading!

PLC Programming Example – Paint Spraying

We will look at a PLC basic tutorial of a paint spraying station. Following the 5 steps to program development this PLC programming example should fully explain the procedure for developing the PLC program logic. Ladder will be our PLC programming language.

We will be using the Do-more Designer software which comes with a simulator. This fully functional program is offered free of charge at automation direct.

Define the task:

What has to happen?
Paint Station 01

Paint spraying system where boxes are fed by gravity through a feeder magazine one at a time onto a moving conveyor belt. Upon the start signal, boxes are pushed towards the conveyor by valve 1. This is a cylinder which extends and retracts which operates switches S1 and S2 respectfully. A spraying nozzle paints each box as it passes under the paint spray controlled by valve 2. A sensor (S3) counts each box being sprayed. When 6 boxes have been painted the valve 2 shuts off (paint spray) and valve 1 (cylinder) stops moving boxes onto the conveyor. Three seconds later the conveyor stops moving and the hopper with its load moves forward (valve 3) where it is emptied. Ten seconds later the hopper returns to the original position. The cycle is then complete and waits for a start signal again.

Define the Inputs and Outputs:

Start Switch – On/Off (Normally Open) – NO
Stop Switch – On/Off (Normally Closed) – NC
S1 – Valve 1 (cylinder retract) On/Off – NO
S2 – Valve 1 (cylinder extend) On/Off – NO
S3 – Box Detected- On/Off – NO
Motor – On/Off (Conveyor Run)
Valve 1- Cylinder to feed boxes – On/Off
Valve 2- Paint Spray – On/Off
Valve 3- Cylinder to move hopper – On/Off

Develop a logical sequence of operation:

Fully understanding the logic before starting to program can save you time and frustration.

Sequence Table: The following is a sequence table for our paint spraying application.

Sequence Table
1 – Input / Ouput ON
0 – Input / Output OFF
x – Input / Output Does not Matter
When power goes off and comes on the sequence will continue. This means that we must use memory retentive areas of the PLC. The stop pushbutton will stop the sequence. The start will resume until the end.

Develop the PLC program:

The best way to see the development of the programmable logic controller program is to follow the sequence table along with the following program. You will see the direct correlation between the two and get a good understanding of the process.

This is the main process start and stop bit. V0:0 is used because it is memory retentive.
Paint Stn Program 1

Control of the Motor (Conveyor) and the paint spray is done with the V0:0 contact in front of the actual PLC output. The conveyor and paint spray will stop when the timer 0 is done. This is the delay after the last box is detected to allow the box to be painted and loaded onto the hopper.
Paint Stn Program 2

Control of the box movement onto the conveyor. As long as we have the process start and the hopper count is not complete this will allow the cylinder to put boxes on the conveyor.
Paint Stn Program 3

Count number of boxes in the hopper via S3. The counter is memory retentive.
Paint Stn Program 4

Timer to stop the conveyor and spray after the last box is detected for the hopper. This will allow time for the box to be sprayed and loaded into the hopper.
Paint Stn Program 5

Hopper movement to load and unload the boxes.
Paint Stn Program 6

The hopper unload timer is to unload the boxes and will then trigger the reset conveyor timer, box counter and the process start bit (V0:0).
Paint Stn Program 7

Test the program:

Paint Spraying
Test the program with a simulator or actual machine. Make modifications as necessary. Remember to follow up after a time frame to see if any problems arise that need to be addressed with the program.

Watch on YouTube : PLC Programming Example – Paint Spraying
If you have any questions or need further information please contact me.
Thank you,

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.

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