EET 220 Programmable Logic Controllers
Standard Course Outline (Updated Fall 2004)
220: Programmable Logic Controllers
(2 credits) An introduction to programmable logic controllers (PLCs). Topics covered include PLC programming, troubleshooting, networking, and industrial applications. Prerequisite: EET 117.
Goals of the Course:
Programmable logic controllers is a required course for sophomore-level students in the Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) program and for junior-level students who enter the ElectroMechanical Engineering Technology (EMET) baccalaureate degree program with a background in mechanical engineering technology. The goal of the course is to teach students fundamentals of programming, installation and use, troubleshooting, and networking of current technology PLCs. Programming instruction is based on standard ladder logic concepts and covers the use of relay logic for I/O and memory control; applications of timers, counters, sequencers; and the effective use of program flow control instructions to manage PLC operations. Data manipulation using standard digital and arithmetic programming instructions are also covered, as are concepts in analog data I/O and advanced programming methods. Classroom instruction is supported by laboratory activities in which students use PLCs to perform typical industrial control functions. Lab exercises are designed to ensure that students learn the practical aspects of installing, programming, troubleshooting, and networking PLCs in situations typical of industrial use.
Upon completing this course, students will be able to recognize industrial control problems suitable for PLC control, conceptualizing solutions to those problems, and use modern programming software to develop, enter, and debug programs to solve those problems. They will also be able to install PLC units, interface them with I/O channels and standard data networks, and troubleshoot I/O and networking problems to produce functional control systems.
Relationship to EET Program Outcomes:
EET 220 contributes to the following outcomes:
Students should be able to apply basic knowledge in electronics, electrical circuit analysis, electrical machines, microprocessors, and programmable logic controllers. (Outcome 1)
Students should be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of drafting and computer usage, including the use of one or more computer software packages for technical problem solving. (Outcome 4)
Students should be able to communicate effectively orally, visually, and in writing. (Outcome 5)
Students should be able to work effectively in teams. (Outcome 6)
Students should be able to apply creativity through the use of project-based work to the design of circuits, systems, or processes. (Outcome 10)
Have a commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement (Outcome 11)
The specific course outcomes supporting the EET program outcomes are:
Students will be able to use PLC digital input terminals to accurately monitor and record the state of switches, pushbuttons, relays, and other digital indicators typical of PLC applications.
Students will be able to use PLC analog input terminals to accurately monitor and record the state of variable voltage and/or current inputs.
Students will be able to use special purpose PLC input terminals to accurately monitor and record the state of devices such as thermocouples, RTDs, etc.
Students will be able to use PLC digital output modules to correctly operate relays, lights, display modules, alarms, and other on-off actuators typical of PLC applications.
Students will be able to use PLC analog output modules to correctly operate meters, actuators, motors, control circuits, and other voltage-or current-controlled devices typical of PLC applications.
Students will be able to produce working drawings of PLC based control systems using appropriate CAD software.
Students will be able to use modern PLC programming tools to develop functional and effective computer interfaces for initialization, control, and monitoring of PLC operations.
Students will be able to prepare high quality reports describing PLC control problem solutions and implementations.
Students will be able to work together effectively in teams to carry out PLC projects.
Students will be able to use appropriate technology and apply principles of engineering design to come up with solutions that meet the functional requirements of the design projects.
Students will be able to complete lab reports, assignments, and project reports in a timely manner.
The following are suitable texts and/or references for this course:
Petruzella, Programmable Logic Controllers, Glencoe McGraw-Hill.
Petruzella, Activities Manual for Programmable Logic Controllers, Glencoe McGraw-Hill.
Swainston, A Systems Approach to Programmable Controllers, Delmar Publishers.
Cox, Technician's Guide to Programmable Controllers, Delmar Publishers.
Geller, Programmable Controllers Using the Allen-Bradley SLC-500 Family, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Webb and Reis, Programmable Logic Controllers: Principles and Applications, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Hackworth, Programmable Logic Controllers: Programming Methods and Applications, Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Prerequisites by Topic:
EET 117 (Digital Electronics) or EMET 310 (Digital Electronics).
Coverage times shown in parentheses are suggestions only.
Note: - One hour as indicated here represents one 50-minute class.
Overview of PLCs. (1 hour)
PLC hardware. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
Fundamentals of PLC programming. (3 hours of lecture, 4 hours of lab)
Timers and counters. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
Program control instructions. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
Data manipulation instructions. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
Arithmetic instructions. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
I/O modules and wiring. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
Advanced PLC programming. (2 hours of lecture, 4 hours of lab)
PLC installation and troubleshooting. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
Process control & data acquisition systems. (1 hour of lecture, 2 hours of lab)
PLC project. (7 hours of lab)
Students are expected to use computers and PLC software to create and debug PLC programs, upload and download programs between computers and PLCs, and set up communication links between computers, PLCs and various I/O devices.
The following is the minimum equipment required to conduct this course:
Appropriate industrial-quality PLCs with communication linkage with networked personal computers
A variety of PLC-compatible I/O devices
Appropriate PLC programming software
Course grading policies are left to the discretion of the individual instructor.
The following may be useful methods for assessing the success of this course in achieving intended outcomes listed above:
Traditional exams covering lecture material.
Formal and informal lab reports documenting programming
Project report documenting project development, implementation, and testing.
Sohail Anwar, Associate Professor of Engineering, Altoona College