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Programmable Logic Controllers

Location: Workforce Training Center

Programmable Logic Controllers

A programmable logic controller (PLC) is a digital computer used for the automation of electromechanical processes. The PLC is a vital element in modern industry and is used to monitor and control production processes and building systems. The PLC is also commonly used in civil applications such as controlling traffic signals and elevators.

The PLC 1-4 Series at NIC Workforce Training Center is designed to help maintenance personnel diagnose and repair faults in PLC-controlled production equipment. The PLC 1-4 Series is offered annually and is a hybrid of online study with 4-5 lab sessions per class. All courses are eligible for Electrical CEUs and Idaho SkillStack® Badges.

PLC: Level 1

Students will gain an understanding and overview of PLC in this hybrid class that combines online learning, step-by-step live demonstrations of LogixPro 500 PLC simulator programming software, and hands-on labs to apply knowledge and understanding of PLC processors, time/counter instructions, program control instructions, data manipulation, math functions, shift registers/sequencers, analog I/O, and networks. 

PLC: Level 2  

Students will apply concepts learned in the PLC introductory course. Students will construct intermediate-level ladder logic programs with RSlogix 5000 software simulators in our lab sessions.  Apply knowledge and understanding of the following topics:  PLC processors, timer/counter instructions, program control instructions, data manipulation, math functions, shift registers/sequencers, analog I/O, and networks.  A certificate of completion will be awarded upon completion of the technical skills assessment exam.  

PLC: Level 3

Students will gain an understanding of the use of Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) and Soft Starters.  Learn AC motor concepts and parts and operations of VFDs.  Students will learn VFD control schemes, installs, and basic troubleshooting and gain an understanding of the uses of HMI’s, RSlinx communications, using DDE topics and excel macros.  Students will create an HMI project with graphics and animations and learn to understand alarms, activity logs, data, and logging runtime.  This course is a blend of online teaching and live lab sessions for hands-on training.  

PLC: Level 4 

Students will gain a further understanding of the use of Control Logix and Ladder Logic programs. The class will begin with a review of FactoryTalk View/Studio 5000 and communication protocols between FactoryTalk applications and RSLogix program. The review portion includes most of the basic Allen Bradley Ladder Logic Instructions. Students will then move to more advanced features such as Tasks, User Data Types (UDT), as well as Structured Text. Students will learn startup macro’s to provide high-level security to an HMI application, create screens that animate aspects of industrial equipment, and provide smooth navigation schemes.

Additionally, students will gain a deeper understanding of cyber security and firewall protection. The class will explore Security Intrusion Detection/Prevention as well as some tools that can help diagnose problem areas and ways to reduce holes in your security protection. Students will learn the threats posed by malware, phishing, and ransomware as well as be able to identify ways to prevent cyber-attacks in the industrial control environment.