Managing Automation Control in your facility (Article)

PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) are the brains of your operation. When the PLC is not functioning properly, lines shut down, plants shutdown, even city bridges and water stations could cease to operate. Thousands to millions could be lost by one little PLC in an electrical panel that you never even knew existed. But most importantly, damage to machine and personnel could result from improper maintenance management of your company’s PLCs.

In the BIN95 PLC training seminar, valuable real world troubleshooting advice is explained. Like ... "Just as a doctor asks the patient questions to figure out what is wrong, a maintenance technician asks the PLC questions to troubleshoot the machine. The maintenance technician uses a laptop computer to see what conditions have to be met  in order for the PLC to cause an action to occur (like turn a motor on). In a reliable maintenance management environment, the maintenance technician will be using the PLC as a troubleshooting tool to reduce downtime."

 How many PLCs is your bottom line depending on?

BIN95 surveys over the years showed the participants reported they thought they had 3-6 PLCs in their facility. Granted most participants where managers and didn`t open electrical panels that much, but many of the participants are from fortune 500 companies having hundreds of employees. The odds are most of them have 12-30 PLCs in their facilities. Currently the average reported in our surveys has increased to 10-15, so the good news is the industry as a whole is becoming more PLC aware.

It is common to only learn about a PLC once the machine is down and the clock is ticking at a thousand dollars an hour, or more. Unfortunately, it is also common that after the fire is out, it`s on to the next fire, without fully learning what can be done to avoid these costly downtimes in the future, and in other similar machines in a company or corporation.

  • Do you have an up to date list of all PLC model types, part availability, program copies and details for your company?

The first step to take, is to perform a PLC audit. Open every electrical panel, and write down the PLC brand, model, and other pertinent information. Then go the next two steps. Analyze the audit information and risk, then act on that analysis. To help you out, PLC training seminar attendees get a  PLC audit spread sheet. It is just a fraction of extra valuable information and tools attendees receive on a thumb drive (over 1.5 gig of extra learning material too.)

In addition to the above, attendees also receive the PLC training certificate course software and the PAC (Process Automation Controller - RSLogix5000) training certificate course software.

So attendees of the BIN95 hands-on PLC training seminar are expected to return to their companies and continue their learning, perform a PLC audit, and start implementing the automation control management techniques taught in class.

Posted by: Don Fitchett, President, Business Industrial Network, United States (02-Apr-2019)
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