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James Gralinski Click to EMail James Gralinski - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Jul-31-01, 03:44 PM (EST)
"plc to purchase for training"
Hello,

I am a machine designer (automated machinery) and I want to broaden my experience by learning to program PLC's.

I have very little ladder logic schooling and much classical control theory schooling.

I need recommendations on purchasing a plc. Omron, Keyance....?

I would also like to get into servo motors as well. Price is a big issue.

Thanks for your replies,

Jim Gralinski

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 Table of contents

RE: plc to purchase for training, Matthias Von Zorn, Aug-01-01, (1)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Pierre, Aug-01-01, (2)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Tom Jenkins, Aug-01-01, (3)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Jim Meade, Aug-01-01, (4)
RE: plc to purchase for training, James Gralinski, Aug-01-01, (5)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Allen Nelson, Aug-01-01, (7)
RE: plc to purchase for training, James Gralinski, Aug-09-01, (23)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Stephen Luft, Sep-06-01, (30)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Jim Dungar, Aug-01-01, (6)
RE: plc to purchase for training, LT, Aug-01-01, (8)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Jim Dungar, Aug-02-01, (11)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Matthias Von Zorn, Aug-02-01, (10)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Jim Meade, Aug-02-01, (12)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Scooter, Aug-02-01, (9)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Chris Duffy, Aug-02-01, (13)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Chris Duffy, Aug-02-01, (14)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Chris Duffy, Aug-02-01, (15)
RE: plc to purchase for training, glaverty, Aug-02-01, (16)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Rick Densing, Aug-02-01, (17)
RE: plc to purchase for training, ericn, Aug-02-01, (18)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Ronald Doran, Aug-07-01, (19)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Ronald Doran, Aug-07-01, (20)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Ronald Doran, Aug-07-01, (21)
RE: plc to purchase for training, James Gralinski, Aug-09-01, (22)
RE: plc to purchase for training, gbradley, Aug-09-01, (24)
RE: plc to purchase for training, James Gralinski, Aug-10-01, (25)
RE: plc to purchase for training, gbradley, Aug-10-01, (26)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Archie Jacobs, Aug-10-01, (27)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Pierre, Aug-13-01, (28)
RE: plc to purchase for training, P. Hegedus, Aug-17-01, (29)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Hannebaum, Sep-06-01, (31)
RE: plc to purchase for training, Scott, Sep-06-01, (32)

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Messages in this topic

Matthias Von Zorn Click to EMail Matthias Von Zorn - (25 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 08:28 AM (EST)
1. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Well, if your a contract intergrator, your best bet is probally going to be AB, as it (to me at least) seems to be the most common one around. Others ive noticed that seem to be in demand (this is in my industry btw, which is industrial metal treatment) are mitsubishi and siemens. Ive been building furances for 6 years now, and never has a customer asked for anything but these 3 brands. This also seems to be a bit geographically dependant too.
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Pierre Click to EMail PierreClick to view user profile - (355 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 08:46 AM (EST)
2. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Check wich brand are around you then if they have a "Starter Kit" available.

After this you could purchase any brand. To recommend you a specific brand is like telling you you better learn to drive on a volkswagon because you live in Germany

If it's specificaly for learning purpose ANY brand should do. If your budget is OK, choosing one of the 3 majors would do also.

I know OMRON, GE, Mitsubishi, Modicon and Siemens have Starter Kits... in my region anyway.

My personal choice ABAB (anything but AB)

-Pierre

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Tom Jenkins Click to EMail Tom Jenkins - (768 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 08:59 AM (EST)
3. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
If you want to buy something inexpensive for learning concepts with, it's hard to beat AutomationDirect.com. You can get a PLC for $100, an analog card for $70, and excellent programming software for $100. And you can buy with a credit card!
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Jim Meade Click to EMail Jim Meade - (3 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 09:56 AM (EST)
4. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
The Standard for the United States industry would be AB. However
If you are a Machine designer, do not limit yourself to just one brand of PLC. Some Major companies want to select their PLC to interface with their existing production requirements. If your Customer base is in Europe, you might have to consider dealing with Siemens. Asia can vary from Mitsubishi, Omron etc.
To learn PLC programming for the least price, I would pick the Industry or customer base you will be designing for. Then branch out to other PLC's. Remember that each PLC has its own format of programming styles. It is highly recommended you master the one that you will use most frequently. Jumping back and forth between different PLC protocols can get confusing.
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James Gralinski Click to EMail James Gralinski - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 01:27 PM (EST)
5. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Thanks for the responses.

I want to learn to program PLC's in order to service customers in the field of automation in the PA, NJ, NY areas.
I am a consultant and want to take the first step in learning to program. Price is an issue. I am at automationdirect.com checking it out.

I'll let you know how it goes,

Thanks again,

Jim
ERG

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Allen Nelson Click to EMail Allen NelsonClick to view user profile - (126 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 05:02 PM (EST)
7. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Do you need a "real" PLC, or would a software simulation do? If so, try The Learning Pit. It has an AB like program for $24 (and while AB might not be "the industry standard", there are sure lots of them in the PA/NJ/DE area (where I am).
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James Gralinski Click to EMail James Gralinski - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-09-01, 08:36 AM (EST)
23. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Allen,

I am interested in setting up a bread board with switches and a servo motor.

I am looking for more than software simulation.

Thanks

Jim
ERG

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Stephen Luft Click to EMail Stephen Luft - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Sep-06-01, 02:11 PM (EST)
30. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
James,

Entertron offers programming examples, software and applications notes at the web site...www.entertron.com

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Jim Dungar Click to EMail Jim Dungar - (158 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 01:40 PM (EST)
6. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
The standard PLC for US industry is not AB. The most popular manufacturer may be AB, but they make many different flavors of PLC hardware not to mention software.

Chose based on your industry or customer base.

If I was designing stand alone (non-customer specified) equipment, I would lean towards PLCs with non-ladder logic diagram languages like Siemens and Telemecanique. If I felt the need to learn AB I would study the SLC family.

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LT Click to EMail LT - (19 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-01-01, 05:31 PM (EST)
8. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Jim,
I am curious about your statement of leaning towards a PLC with non-ladder logic diagram languages? Is this for operation reasons or a personal preference to that programming language? Just wondering why, I have used both and I like both of them for different reasons for certain applications. I probably don't have the experience base that you do and I would like to explore all the possibilities.

Thanks

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Jim Dungar Click to EMail Jim Dungar - (158 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 11:35 AM (EST)
11. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
My reasons include personal preference.
While it is possible to argue the scan times of various languages, for most applications who cares. I know there are exceptions, but typically the programming language is for the benefit of humans. Whether the PLC microprocessor uses complied or interpative code is usually more important.

I like the ability to mix and match languages. One of my favorite programs was for a weighing scale which used state language for moving from one step to the next, a text language for calculating filling rates and amounts, and ladder logic for all of the interlocking.

Yes, many older electricians think they can only understand ladder logic, but they aren't giving themselves enough credit.
They can draw a circuit easily, but they can say it even easier such as: IF "bag_weight"="target_weight" THEN "discharge"
Of course, there are programmers who take all sorts of short cuts and use every trick when programming in text, but just as many also do the same in ladder.

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Matthias Von Zorn Click to EMail Matthias Von Zorn - (25 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 09:19 AM (EST)
10. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
"If I was designing stand alone (non-customer specified) equipment, I would lean towards PLCs with non-ladder logic diagram languages like Siemens and Telemecanique. If I felt the need to learn AB I would study the SLC family. "

Ive used the siemens S7 PLC, and the Function blocks on it are really slick. The ability to make a standard function with local variables that return results is incredibly handy. I wish my SLCs I work on had that feature!! Being a C programmer shoved into PLCs, it was a breath of fresh air.

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Jim Meade Click to EMail Jim Meade - (3 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 12:05 PM (EST)
12. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
I agree with SLC family. It is well accepted with most customers and industry. I started with the Siemens S5 series, and I agree that statement listing and function blocks are the way to go. My difficulty was getting used to jumping from DB's to OB's. I like to stay fluid in my programming. It was a challenge!
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Scooter Click to EMail ScooterClick to view user profile - (29 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 04:29 AM (EST)
9. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
The best instruction schooling I had was a Machine Tool Schematic Reading course. It had nothing to do with PLC's but the layout is more or less like a primitive Ladder Diagram. As for a cheap PLC, check ebay.


What's with the cat ?


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Chris Duffy Click to EMail Chris Duffy - (4 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 01:18 PM (EST)
13. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Jim, I have read with great interest the comments to your needs. Be advised that GE Fanuc would be more than happy to speak with you about our leading position in the PLC and HMI marketplace as well as assist you with any other questions you may have. GEFanuc.com
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Chris Duffy Click to EMail Chris Duffy - (4 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 01:19 PM (EST)
14. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Jim, I have read with great interest the comments to your needs. Be advised that GE Fanuc would be more than happy to speak with you about our leading position in the PLC and HMI marketplace as well as assist you with any other questions you may have. GEFanuc.com
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Chris Duffy Click to EMail Chris Duffy - (4 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 01:20 PM (EST)
15. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Jim, I have read with great interest the comments to your needs. Be advised that GE Fanuc would be more than happy to speak with you about our leading position in the PLC and HMI marketplace as well as assist you with any other questions you may have. GEFanuc.com
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glaverty Click to EMail glavertyClick to view user profile - (49 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 03:19 PM (EST)
16. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
And what exactly is it you do for GE Fanuc?
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Rick Densing Click to EMail Rick DensingClick to view user profile - (165 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 05:48 PM (EST)
17. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Apparently he spends a lot of time pressing reply buttons.
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ericn Click to EMail ericn - (107 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-02-01, 10:04 PM (EST)
18. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
At least he's persistent! -Eric
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Ronald Doran Click to EMail Ronald Doran - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-07-01, 08:26 PM (EST)
19. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
There are so many to choose from. The market(s) you work should give you the best idea what is most used in your area. Recently in this area I had the opportunity to goto a seminar/training for Siemens S7-200 for $269. They gave a S7-200, cable, software, and 1 day training. I work in a plant that has a variety of machines with every plc you can imagine, AB(4 different models), ABB, Omron, Siemens ( 2 models not to mention the TI305 which is same as the PLC Direct 305, Siemens etc), Ge Fanuc, Modicon, and some older forgotten systems not to mention the ones I havent found yet. The place is over 1.5 million sq feet and adding more every day. I learned plc's with omron long time ago but with interpretive on Allen Bradley with 6200 software, to this day I think it was the easiest even in dos but the expense can kill you. I liked AB because the programming resembled relay logic more than anything and I am old school so learned relay logic first BUT Siemens uses what is called Statement List which once learned can be easier and maybe provide more functions with less work programming. I am still learning what can be done with the Step 7 300/400 myself. At this time I am doing/planning on more with PLCDirect line for small jobs ie http://www.automationdirect.com. Cost can be most prohibiting but look at what will provide for you in the future and weigh the scale. Allen Bradley and PLCDirect can be priced online ( but AB can be gotten at discount depending on supplier/circumstances etc). If you are designing machines than talk to suppliers and see what options you can come up with on obtaining software/training and most important price breaks on hardware, then design using that and if someone wants different than you should have the basics to provide or if necessary sneak the cost of training into the bid. I suggest you follow this sites online training in depth than decide on 1 major manufacturer to use and work with others when needed. This is an ever growing field and its hard not to be versatile. Dont close any doors or any options, wish I had the smarts to follow my own advice.
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Ronald Doran Click to EMail Ronald Doran - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-07-01, 08:27 PM (EST)
20. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
There are so many to choose from. The market(s) you work should give you the best idea what is most used in your area. Recently in this area I had the opportunity to goto a seminar/training for Siemens S7-200 for $269. They gave a S7-200, cable, software, and 1 day training. I work in a plant that has a variety of machines with every plc you can imagine, AB(4 different models), ABB, Omron, Siemens ( 2 models not to mention the TI305 which is same as the PLC Direct 305, Siemens etc), Ge Fanuc, Modicon, and some older forgotten systems not to mention the ones I havent found yet. The place is over 1.5 million sq feet and adding more every day. I learned plc's with omron long time ago but with interpretive on Allen Bradley with 6200 software, to this day I think it was the easiest even in dos but the expense can kill you. I liked AB because the programming resembled relay logic more than anything and I am old school so learned relay logic first BUT Siemens uses what is called Statement List which once learned can be easier and maybe provide more functions with less work programming. I am still learning what can be done with the Step 7 300/400 myself. At this time I am doing/planning on more with PLCDirect line for small jobs ie http://www.automationdirect.com. Cost can be most prohibiting but look at what will provide for you in the future and weigh the scale. Allen Bradley and PLCDirect can be priced online ( but AB can be gotten at discount depending on supplier/circumstances etc). If you are designing machines than talk to suppliers and see what options you can come up with on obtaining software/training and most important price breaks on hardware, then design using that and if someone wants different than you should have the basics to provide or if necessary sneak the cost of training into the bid. I suggest you follow this sites online training in depth than decide on 1 major manufacturer to use and work with others when needed. This is an ever growing field and its hard not to be versatile. Dont close any doors or any options, wish I had the smarts to follow my own advice.
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Ronald Doran Click to EMail Ronald Doran - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-07-01, 08:32 PM (EST)
21. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
I only posted a reply once but there seems to be a glitch that posts it multiple. So be fair and not blame all that seem to be posting more than once a reply.
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James Gralinski Click to EMail James Gralinski - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-09-01, 08:32 AM (EST)
22. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Thanks for your responses everyone.

Seems like this decision needs more time and effort.

Currently, I have a quote for an Omron achiever kit for $622.00

I checked out automation direct and saw a plc module for $99.00. But I'd would have to buy the other essentials to match what I would be getting in the kit. I have to compare features and capabilities as well.

I want to eventually set up a small bread board with some limit switches and photo eyes as input and maybe a common light fixture for an output. Also, I want to by a small servo motor and work with that as well.

I was considering taking a nite class at the community college on programming plc's. But for the cost of the class, I figured that I would just purchase one instead. That way I would have it to mess around with for as long as I like.

Again, thanks for your replies.

Jim
ERG

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gbradley Click to EMail gbradleyClick to view user profile - (132 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-09-01, 01:13 PM (EST)
24. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Jim I think that you made the right decision. I believe that there is no better teacher than hands on training. Keep coming back to this site. I've learned more from this site than from anywhere else. Thanks Phil! and everyone else. Oh how I miss Terry's rantings. P.S.When you get your Omron PLC going, see if you can figure out that street light thing, nobody here knows how to make it work
Good luck!
George Bradley
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James Gralinski Click to EMail James Gralinski - (6 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-10-01, 09:23 AM (EST)
25. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
George,

I've made the decision to buy a PLC, just not sure which one right now.

As far as the Omron, it seems costly and as far as I know, cannot implement PID control.

I was just hoping to get a "brick" instead of a modular PLC. That way I wouldn't have to piece together the CPU, I/O modules, power supply and rack.

I looked at the DL250 CPU and it can do (4) PID loops but they want (Automationdirect) $250.00 for it. I'll have to tally up the other required modules and see if I can get it for less then the Omron.


Thanks for your interest,

Jim
ERG

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gbradley Click to EMail gbradleyClick to view user profile - (132 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-10-01, 03:04 PM (EST)
26. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
One thing that I got when starting out, was a starter kit for the Allen Bradley Micrologix line. It came with a Micrologix 1000 The Software and a cable to connect to the serial port. It also had a bank of toggle switches on the top that were great for simulating inputs. It didn't have any Analog, and no PID, but the software works on Slc 500's also. If I remember, the whole shot was around $300.00.
Of couse it is AB, and many people don't like AB.
(It's not as bad as they say. It ain't no walk in the park, but if I can make it work, well then it's not all that arcane)

Good luck
George Bradley

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Archie Jacobs Click to EMail Archie Jacobs - (39 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-10-01, 08:29 PM (EST)
27. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
If it were strictly for your personal use to learn, I would check out www.beckhoff.com
You can download a soft PLC called TwinCAT that allows you to use your parallel port for I/O. With a little knowledge of the port and a few 5 volt relays, you could create a PLC to play with for about $10 !
There are many sites out there that show how to interface to the parallel port.
The software may be a little advanced for a beginner, but it does support all five IEC 61131 programming languages and the 30 day trial is free. Once it expires, you can just re-install for another 30 days.
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Pierre Click to EMail PierreClick to view user profile - (355 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-13-01, 11:40 PM (EST)
28. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
You can also get deals on e-bay ... search for PL... you know what
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P. Hegedus Click to EMail P. Hegedus - (3 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Aug-17-01, 12:58 PM (EST)
29. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Please chek out www.tri-plc.com,they have starter kits also.
Good luck!
P.Hegedus.
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Hannebaum Click to EMail HannebaumClick to view user profile - (57 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Sep-06-01, 02:37 PM (EST)
31. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
Do a search on "PLC Training". Go to the Learning Pit and purchase the $24.00 training simulator software package for now.
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Scott Click to EMail Scott - (3 posts) Click to check IP address of the poster Sep-06-01, 05:16 PM (EST)
32. "RE: plc to purchase for training"
If I were to recommend a PLC I would recommend Modicon. One of the advantages of using modicon is their software. Concept not only allows you to program in Ladder but it also allows you to program in 4 other languages such as Function Block, Sequential function chart,Instuction list among others. Also the software is IEC 1131 compliant which a lot of manufactures require now. You should be able to buy a small momentum plc for pretty cheap
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