The occurrence of electropneumatic systems in industries is abundant. Pneumatics on their own have had a significant impact on industrialization. The use of pneumatic systems can be credited to the fact that the fluid, air, is not expensive and occurs in nature and secondly, should the systems experience any leaks then there would not be much damage as compared to say hydraulic systems.
Before the advent of PLCs, pneumatic circuits were activated manually using relay circuits. Processes have come such along way since then and such low voltage circuits have been replaced by PLCs and as such automation of such processes have been achieved. Automation plays a central role in industries. Through automation systems can be run effortlessly and remotely even autonomously. The history of automation can be traced back to the invention of the wheel. The improvements have been going on continuously since then and even now in the technological era, there are still some improvements to be made.
PLCs have done for the factory floor what the personal computers did to offices.
In this exercise we are going to replace a manually activated pneumatic circuit in a valve sorting station with PLC. This exercise will highlight in many ways the advantages of using PLC in stead of manually activated electropneumatic systems. The advantages range from ease of use to easy automation of systems.
A Programmable Logic Controller or a PLC in short can be defined as a microprocessor based computer unit that can carry out control functions of various types and of varying levels of complexity (Kamele, 2014)
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