PLC recommendation.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by t00t, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. t00t

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    55
    1
    Dear all,

    I am currently looking for a simple / easy programming PLC for a control panel .
    Please advice on which has the easiest user interface .
    I have seen people use OMRON but seems quite tough .

    So was hoping if any one with experience on this can advise me on this .

    Thank You.
     
  2. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,541
    2,369
    I have used Allen-Bradley, Mitsubishi, Idec, Fanuc etc and all have about the same learning curve, the main difference is in the cost of software and any special interfaces.
    My personal preference so far is with Mitsubishi.
    Max.
     
  3. Biff383

    Member

    Jun 6, 2012
    49
    19
    Automation Direct seems to be a good platform for a beginner. We use it quite a bit around here ( industrial ). It is low cost and you can get free software for some of it. We also use a lot of Rockwell stuff, but the cost of the software is pretty high. And using it effectively takes a while if you are just starting out. Mitsubishi would be my second choice.
     
  4. strantor

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
    4,302
    1,988
    +1

    My main PLC platform is Omron, followed by Allen Bradley. Siemens & Omron are not very intuitive and Allen Bradley is prohibitively expensive. Automation Direct has historically been the "cheap" alternative to mainstream PLCs, both in price and (IMO) quality - at least as far as the software is/was concerned. I found the Directlogic software to be clunky and lacking every single useful feature that other PLC softwares had.

    That is, until recently, apparently. I recently stumbled upon Automation Direct's new Productivity 2000 line of PLCs. The software is FREE. That's unheard of (at least by me) in this industry. I downloaded the free software and had a look-see, and liked what I saw. It looked like an actual, respectable programming environment and not a crappy approximation of one. It didn't have Structured Text programming as I would have liked to see, but 90% of what I use ST for is covered by their superior math functions. They have formula entry instructions that you type in formulas similarly to formula entry in Excel, and reuse those instructions throughout your ladder files. There are also several canned functions like autotuning PID and nonlinear scaling. And the ethernet-enabled CPU is only $255; less than a simple digital output card for some of its competitors.

    I have not used these new PLCs personally, but I intend to for my next project. If they work out as well as I expect, it will represent a huge cost savings and much faster turnaround than paying thousands of dollars for a PLC rack and writing custom function blocks for every mathematical operation involving more than a (+) or a (-). The only concrete drawback I can see without having laid my hands on these, is that they have no 24VDC power supply option - only 120VAC; for the life of me I cannot understand why the hell a PLC manufacturer would not offer a 24VDC power supply option.

    If you do happen to buy one of these, please give me a review if I don't beat you to it.

    EDIT: These new P2000 PLCs tout easy interface with AD's c-more touchscreens and GS drives. If it's as easy as they claim, could be a no-brainer.
     
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  5. Biff383

    Member

    Jun 6, 2012
    49
    19
    I was thinking more along the Click line of products from AD. $70 and 24 volts and your good to start a small project. I haven't used any of these yet either, but I would guess that if it is in a friendly environment it should work.
     
  6. t00t

    Thread Starter Member

    Jan 22, 2015
    55
    1
    Thanks guys .

    Think I will try AD first then .
     
  7. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
    10,541
    2,369
    Incidentally if you need any kind of HMI interface add-on from a 2-3 line display/keypad to a graphic touch screen, Maple Systems offer a range with drivers for most of the popular PLC's and are wider ranging and cheaper than the OEM offering.
    Max.
     
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