The Industrial Workplace has seen many innovations and improvements over the last century. Some of these groundbreaking changes include such seminal moments as the creation of the modern production line, better safety standards to protect workers, the implementation of QC, and other amazing movements into the 21st century. One of these changes that has gone under the radar over the last 50 years or so is the advent of PLC’s, the Programmable Logic Controller.
Inventor Richard Morley to help change the status quo on the production floors across America created the PLC in the late 1960’s. The US went through a blistering pace of Industry during World War II and the Korean War and that pace went on right through the 1960s. There were problems during these times however on factory floors due to the equipment used in the machines.
Most machines of the time used relay logic systems to execute commands on machines and this was a groundbreaking concept upon creation and implementation of them. But, after a short time, the big disadvantage of using relays reared its ugly head as a rising trend of repeated relay failures started happening. When these failures happened during a production run, the whole line would have to stop and Technicians would come out and fix the problem.
Fixing a relay problem turned into a problem itself as Technicians would be face to face with a gigantic wall of relays to troubleshoot and figure out which one was the culprit of the failure. This caused large delays in the production process and a solution had to be engineered to fix the relay problem, enter Richard Morley.
The PLC was a first-generation solid-state computer that could monitor both inputs and outputs and could make logic-based decisions for machine use and automation purposes. It truly was a groundbreaking invention as these PLC’s were built like tanks and could sustain through extreme temperatures, moisture, and dust. The same could not be said of their relay counterparts and the mass exodus to PLC’s was on in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The changes in Industry were remarkable, downtimes were reduced, production increased and the PLC has maintained its prevalence in production facilities worldwide over the last 50 years.
The PLC isn’t without flaws, there is no perfect component out there that doesn’t have any downsides or 100% runtime rate. The PLC can’t handle complex data and can’t display data without the use of an external monitor. Every year, the PLC gets small updates and newer builds of the system with smaller chips which are growing more powerful which each new update.
As the builds constantly change and update, so should the information and training on these systems update to reflect these changes. It’s beneficial to have a staff and crew with the latest information on these systems as they change from year to year. Implementing a formal training program to enrich and teach workers and machine operators about PLC should be a top priority within the company’s training program.
Proper training and troubleshooting procedures can help workers understand and get the most out of their machines for maximum productivity and minimal downtime. Knowing the mechanisms and proper procedures can also help workers fix problems that may appear during a production run and can limit the work stoppages to summon a Technician to come out and fix the machine.
To get your workforce and staff up to proper speed on PLC, NTT Training Inc. has what you need. NTT Training Inc. offers an all-inclusive 3-day seminar on all of the ins and outs of PLC and how it affects your workforce. Contact NTT Training Inc. today to set your seminar up or to ask an agent any questions you may have.
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