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Programmable Controllers

Course Number: RET 119
Transcript Title: Programmable Controllers (PLC)
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 3
Lecture Hours: 20
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 30
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), P-NP, audit
Repeats available for credit: 0
Approved delivery mode:


RET 141

Course Description

The student will understand the operation of a variety of programmable controllers. The applications, operations, and programming of PLC's are the areas of study with the main emphasis on programming. (Computers and manual methods will be used to program PLC’s.) Prerequisites: RET 141.

Intended Outcomes

  1. Know all the basic components and their functions that are common to all programmable controllers.
  2. Understand programming basics for Allen Bradley and other types of PLC’s.
  3. Understand and implement input and output modules.
  4. Use the computer as a programmer and properly configure communications for "Upload" and "download".
  5. Learn all of the basic programming instructions and their application as they relate to industrial controls and the wind energy industry.
  6. Create programs for different applications, utilizing the basic instructions.
  7. Monitor and edit programs.
  8. Download test and troubleshoot programs.
  9. Review NEC and IEEE standards relating to proper wiring code techniques of low voltage controls.
  10. Understand and implement motor Controls (two wire, three wire, start/stop etc) related to PLC control.
  11. Understand and implement analog current loops for controls (4-20mA vs. 0-10vdc).
  12. Implement contactor and Auxiliary Relay operation.
  13. Implement proper ground isolation and signal wiring for use with PLC communications.
  14. Identify related code articles and proper applications.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment methods are to be determined by the instructor. Typically, in class exams and quizzes along with homework assignments are used. Lab work is typically assessed by informal and formal lab reports, oral presentation, and possibly a lab exam.

Course Activities and Design

Using "Hands-On" Programming with a computer, PLC and hardware, the student will design, create, modify and test basic programs for different applications.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

  • Input/Output Modules
  • PLC module wiring
  • Safety Circuit
  • PLC Processors
  • Numbering Systems and Codes
  • Basic Programming and instruction sets
  • Timer Instructions
  • Counter Instructions
  • Program Control Instructions
  • Data Manipulation
  • Math Functions
  • Shift registers and sequencers
  • Introduction to PLC control software
  • Introduction of SCADA
  • Overview of RSLogix5000 ™
  • Overview of RSLinx
  • PLC Architecture
  • PLC Memory
  • Project Organization
  • Data File Types
  • PLC Bit Instructions
  • Timer Instructions
  • Counter Instructions
  • Data Collecting

Department Notes

This course will be presented by means of lecture/discussion sessions, demonstrations, and heavy emphasis on the "Hands-On" laboratory exercises. Allen Bradley SLC5000 series and other Programmable Controllers will be used in conjunction with RS Logix 5000 software over network and RS-232 communication protocol.