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PLC & Fieldbus Control Systems - Automation Guidebook, Part 4

Jurandir Primo, P.E.

This course is a basic introduction for PLC & Fieldbus Control Systems that is a section of the automation technology that deals with the science that applies and develops programmable techniques and fieldbus control systems for equipment and industrial processes.

PLC is defined as a "solid-state industrial control device which receives signals from user supplied controlled devices, such as sensors and switches, implements them in a precise pattern determined by ladder-diagram-based application progress stored in user memory, and provides outputs for control of processes or user-supplied devices, such as relays or motor starters". The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) defines a PLC as a "digitally operating electronic apparatus which uses a programmable memory for the internal storage of instructions.

A PLC input device means anything that can influence the programs operation. These can consist of digital and analogue, switches, sensors, intelligent devices. Digital input cards handle discrete devices such as pushbuttons, micro-switches, selector switches, photocells and proximity sensors which give a signal that has only two states. They are either on or off, what's called “bit device”. There are many types of PLCs and Fieldbus systems. The Fieldbus communication protocols and Distributed Control Systems (DCS), were early used to control manufacturing processes continuous or batch-oriented, such as oil refining, petrochemicals, central station power generation, fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage manufacturing, cement production, steelmaking, papermaking and many other consolidated processes. Fieldbus is an industrial network system used in process control and industrial automation, as a way to connect instruments in a manufacturing plant. Fieldbus is the name of a family of industrial computer network protocols used for a real-time distributed control, standardized today, as IEC 61158. Field is an abstraction of equipment plant levels. Bus is a well-known word in computer science as a set of common line that electrically (or optically) connects various circuits in order to transfer the data among them.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

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