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Where PLC Programmers Go to Grow

Stay up to date with our most recent informative videos and blogs on PLC programming and automation

 

What is the Difference between VFD and Soft Starter?

What is the Difference between VFD and Soft Starter?

In previous articles, we have talked about variable frequency drives (VFD) and soft starters. If you need a refresher on the detailed working of either a VFD or Soft Starter be sure to look back at those articles by clicking the links below. What is a VFD? What is a...

What is DCS? (Distributed Control System)

What is DCS? (Distributed Control System)

In this video and article, we are going to do a deep dive into the DCS and discuss some of the why’s and how’s associated with the DCS. Let’s first clarify for the purpose of this lesson, what we mean by DCS. Over the years, the term DCS has evolved from the original...

What is a Soft Starter?

What is a Soft Starter?

There are quite different methods for starting an electric motor such as “Direct On Line (DOL)”, “Star-Delta”, “Auto Transformer”, “Primary Resistor”, or using solid-state power electronic devices such as “VFD” or “Soft Starter”. Every single method has its own...

What is a Pressure Sensor?

What is a Pressure Sensor?

If you are reading this article, then you are probably wondering what exactly is a pressure sensor. Today, we will hopefully cover all of the questions you may have about pressure sensors.What is Pressure?To understand pressure sensors, first, you need to understand...

What is an Electrical Control Panel?

What is an Electrical Control Panel?

Have you ever wondered how an automobile assembly line is controlled? In this video and article, we are going to talk about what controls large or small mechanical processes like an assembly line. That device is called an electrical control panel.Think of an...

What is a Gas Turbine?

What is a Gas Turbine?

In this article and the video below, you are going to learn what a Gas Turbine is and how it works in a very easy-to-follow format.  Two of the most common applications of Gas Turbines in modern industries are Turbo Generators and Turbo Compressors. I try to approach...

How to Convert a Basic Wiring Diagram to a PLC Program

How to Convert a Basic Wiring Diagram to a PLC Program

Today you will learn how to convert a basic wiring diagram to a ladder logic PLC program. This can be a very handy skill to learn, especially if you are converting a machine to PLC control.Upgrading a machine to PLC control may seem like a daunting task. However, if...

What is EtherCAT?

What is EtherCAT?

EtherCAT is Ethernet for Control Automation Technology. It is a technology based on Ethernet and was developed specifically with industrial automation in mind.EtherCAT use standard frames as well as the physical layer as characterized in IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Standard...

What is an Encoder?

What is an Encoder?

An encoder is a device that is used in many industries to provide feedback. In the most basic terms, an encoder, regardless of the type, which we will cover later, senses "position", "direction", "speed", or "counts".Encoders will use motion, under a variety of...

What is Ethernet/IP?

What is Ethernet/IP?

First, let’s separate the terms between Ethernet and IP. When most people think of Ethernet, we think in terms of a physical connection.You may have an Ethernet port on your computer in which you plug in a cable that then connects to a router or switch. This...

How to Program a Basic PID Loop in ControlLogix

How to Program a Basic PID Loop in ControlLogix

In automation programming, we are often required to program a control loop for a given process to control temperature, pressure, flow rate, etc. This requires a target set-point with a controlled feedback process variable.1. Introduction to PID Control LoopA PID...

What is OSI Model?

What is OSI Model?

OSI stands for Open Systems Interconnection and is a conceptual framework for how applications communicate over a network. There are seven layers within the model and the layers depiction is used to help users identify what is happening within a networking...

What is ControlNet?

What is ControlNet?

Need a solution to talk on your industrial network? Let’s look at ControlNet. ControlNet is an open industrial network protocol and is managed by “Open DeviceNet Vendors Association” or ODVA. ControlNet is based on a "token-passing" bus control network and we will...

What is Sensor Calibration and Why is it Important?

What is Sensor Calibration and Why is it Important?

When engineers design modern process plants, they specify sensors to measure important process variables, such as flow, level, pressure, and temperature. These measurements are used to help the process control system adjust the valves, pumps and other actuators in the...

What is Ethernet?

What is Ethernet?

Have you heard of IEEE 802.3? It has a long history and has to do with our topic today, Ethernet. 1. Introduction to Ethernet Ethernet is a communication standard that was developed in the early ’80s to network computers and other devices in a local environment such...

What is Fieldbus?

What is Fieldbus?

Fieldbus isn’t really one thing but more of a collection of things. Fieldbus is a group of protocols that are used in the industrial arena. The Fieldbus protocols have been standardized as IEC61158.Basically, Fieldbus works on a network that permits various topologies...

What is a Control or Function Block?

What is a Control or Function Block?

Have you ever heard of a control block? How about a function block? Different programmers call them by different names, and that can be confusing, but I hope to clear things up for you in this article. So, what exactly is a control or function block? They give us...

What is DeviceNet?

What is DeviceNet?

DeviceNet is an application-level protocol used in the automation environment. It is a communication tool that allows you to logically talk between a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) and many control devices, such as motors, conveyors, flowmeters, level sensors,...

How does Modbus Communication Protocol Work?

How does Modbus Communication Protocol Work?

In the previous video, you learned about what Modbus communication protocol is and the types of Modbus communication used in the industry. Now, as promised, in this video you are going to learn about How Modbus communication protocol works between devices. 1. Modbus...

What is a PID Controller?

What is a PID Controller?

Today you will learn about PIDs. Specifically, what they are and when do we use them with automation and PLCs. So what is a PID controller? PID is an acronym that stands for Proportional, Integral, Derivative. If you need to keep something constant, like a temperature...

What is Modbus?

What is Modbus?

In the real world of the device to device process automation communication, a dialogue or conversation between devices occurs systematically, in many cases, over different types of communication networks and in different languages. Modbus as an "Open Protocol"...

What are the Most Popular PLC Programming Languages?

What are the Most Popular PLC Programming Languages?

There are 5 languages that are all a part of the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) Section 61131-3 Standard. This IEC Standard allows some ground rules that standardize PLC’s and their languages. Let’s take a deeper look into all these PLC Programming...

What is the Difference between Profibus and Profinet?

What is the Difference between Profibus and Profinet?

Profibus and Profinet are industrial communications protocols used extensively by Siemens control systems. While they may sound similar, don't let the names fool you! Profibus and Profinet are very different protocols that use different cables and connectors. Let's...

How to Determine the Motor Size for Your Project?

How to Determine the Motor Size for Your Project?

In this lesson, we will continue the discussion on the topic of motion control. All of us at RealPars, hope you have been following our previous lessons on motion control and have begun to benefit from these lessons. Now you will apply your base knowledge of Servo and...

What is a VFD?

What is a VFD?

Today you will learn about VFD.  Specifically, what it is and when do we use it with automation and PLCs. So what exactly is a VFD? Well, it stands for Variable Frequency Drive. They are used for running an AC motor at variable speeds or let them ramp up their speed...

What is RS485 and How It’s used in Industrial Control Systems?

What is RS485 and How It’s used in Industrial Control Systems?

      Today you will learn about RS485. If you are familiar with RS232, then you may already know a little bit about it. If not, check out our other blog post What is RS232. Just like it’s older brother RS232, RS485 is a form of serial communication. Think of RS485 as...

What are the Major PLC Manufacturers?

What are the Major PLC Manufacturers?

Today we will discuss several of the top PLC manufacturers from around the world. There are quite a few, and hopefully this video will clear up some of the differences of the major brands. As technicians, engineers, and programmers, we have several choices when it...

PLC Analog Inputs and Signals

PLC Analog Inputs and Signals

      Welcome to another to another blog post on industrial automation and PLCs. In this lesson, we are going to be talking about PLC Analog Inputs.   What do we mean by PLC analog inputs? Analog values are continuous values, such as temperatures and pressures....

What is a Linear Motion Control?

What is a Linear Motion Control?

I hope you have been following our lessons on Motion Control related topics. Recently RealPars have published blog post lessons on what are Servo and Stepper Motors and how they work. I hope you have a had an opportunity to read. Now that we have learned about Motion...

What is RS232 and What is it Used for?

What is RS232 and What is it Used for?

Today you will learn about RS232. It is a phrase you may hear fairly regularly in industry, especially by the older guys. Hopefully this video will clear some things up for you.   What exactly is RS232? First and foremost, it is a form of serial data...

Stepper Motors Advantages and Disadvantages

Stepper Motors Advantages and Disadvantages

This lesson is a continuation of a series of lessons involved with learning about Stepper Motors and Servo Motors. If you haven’t already, please review our previously released lesson on, what is a Stepper Motor and How it works? In this lesson, we will discuss the...

What is RTU?

What is RTU?

RTU stands for Remote Terminal Unit, sometimes also called Remote Telemetry Unit or Remote Telecontrol Unit. A RTU is a microprocessor based device that monitors and controls field devices, that then connects to plant control or SCADA (supervisory control and data...

What is a Servo Motor and How it Works?

What is a Servo Motor and How it Works?

Have you ever thought about how a robotic vehicle commonly used in military application with bomb detention is controlled or how metal cutting and forming machines provide precise motion for milling, lathes and bending for metal fabrication or how an antenna...

What is Ladder Logic?

What is Ladder Logic?

If you are involved in any way with industrial machinery, you almost have to have heard of ladder logic. Since there are almost never ladders involved, it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense that we call it that, but the reasons for the name are buried in the history...

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