PLC01: Pick and Place

A Programmable Logic Controller, or PLC, can be used to control any process that requires automation, such as processes found in a chemical plant, automated machinery, or laboratory equipment. When used in such a process, the PLC is programmed to perform a set of logical steps in a specific order to complete the desired task. These steps are programmed into the PLC using a ladder logic program, which consists of a specific set of instructions which will be used to define the process and control the machine.

This PLC experiment is an example of widely used technology in which an electronic controller receives switch settings and opens and closes pneumatic valves. The valves, in turn, extend and retract pneumatic cylinders to accomplish a simple pick-and-place objective.