PLCs - Programmable Logic Controllers

A PLC (programmable logic controller) is an industrial digital computer designed for the control of manufacturing processes or robotic devices where reliability control, simple programming and fault diagnosis is necessary. They were originally built to replace electromechanical relay systems in industrial automation.

A CPU (central processing unit) forms part of the PLC system. PLC CPUs are microprocessor-based and act as the electronic circuitry within an industrial computer. They carry out instructions from the computer program, performing basic mathematical, logical, control, input and output operations.

What are PLCs used for?

PLC controllers are important for the correct functioning of machinery in manufacturing and industry. They are used in the automation of electromechanical processes, including control of machinery on assembly lines, amusement rides, or lighting fixtures. PLCs are ideal for applications that require constant monitoring of input devices whilst allowing decisions to be made via a custom program. This ultimately enables it to control an output.

Types of PLCs

Programmable logic controllers are divided into small, medium and large modular categories. Small control systems are robust, compact and mountable on top of or beside the equipment to be controlled. Medium controllers mainly use rack mounting or backplane systems, allowing for simple upgrading via additional function cards. Large systems are necessary for applications where complex control functions are executed, usually in large plants, in machinery requiring constant monitoring, or control of other PLC hardware.

What setups are suitable for programmable logic controllers?

PLCs feature a modular design, making them suitable for use in a wide range of applications. Due to the modular aspect, PLCs can be plugged into numerous setups making them highly versatile.

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Description Price For Use With Manufacturer Series Number of Digital Inputs Number of Inputs Input Type Number of Analogue Inputs Number of Digital Outputs Voltage Category Number of Analogue Outputs Output Type Interface Kit Included Number of Outputs Network Type
RS Stock No. 801-5707
Mfr. Part No.2701483
Nanoline Family of Controllers NLC-START-04 - 6 Analogue - - 24 V dc - PNP - Yes 4 Ethernet
RS Stock No. 196-1240
Mfr. Part No.1051328
- - - - - - - - - - - - - Ethernet
RS Stock No. 205-5852
Mfr. Part No.1069208
PLCNext AXC F 3 3 - - - - - - - - - Ethernet
RS Stock No. 205-5854
Mfr. Part No.1188165
PLCNext PLCnext - - - - - - - - - - - Ethernet
RS Stock No. 196-1258
Mfr. Part No.2700974
Modbus/TCP ILC 8 8 Digital - - - - Digital - - 4 ModBus
RS Stock No. 205-5853
Mfr. Part No.1151412
PLCNext AXC F 2 2 - - - - - - - - - Ethernet
RS Stock No. 177-1392
Mfr. Part No.2404701
Axioline I/O PLCnext - - - - - - - - - Yes - Ethernet
RS Stock No. 177-1391
Mfr. Part No.2404267
Axioline F I/O PLCnext - - - - - - - - Ethernet Yes - Ethernet