If you are going to become an industrial electrician then you will need some plc training. I know that working as an electrician in a large manufacturing plant that we had to deal with plcs on a daily basis. Our training was furnished by the company while we were still apprentices, but you will need to understand it at some point so additional training may be needed.
When it comes to learning plc programming, there are three main areas of study. They are computers, I/O and programming. Although you don’t have to be an expert in all three areas to be a technician, you need to have some understanding of the three before you begin working in the field.
There are several options for getting the knowledge and training that you need to start your career in PLC. First, there’s the option for formal classroom learning which is best for people who need to ask questions and learn from others. The second option is to learn via distance or online learning. This solution works well for people who learn independently and can figure out most of the concepts on their own. Finally, there are people who can pick up a lot of information just by reading books with some hands on to practice the concepts learned.
Recommended Course of Action To Get The Training You Need
Take a formal PLC Course
A formal course is a good way to fast track your training. You’ll be able to digest a lot more from the training than you would if you were just trying to follow along in a book. Hand-on training would re-enforce all the theory that you learn.
Get a few good textbooks
Invest in a couple of good texts to get a handle on the basics. The textbooks will serve as a reference guide that you’ll refer to even when you’re an experienced professional.
Some suggestions are:
- A Guide To Understanding PLCs – Phil Melore
- Programmable Logic Controllers – Frank D. Petruzella
- Programmable Logic Controllers: Hardware and Programming – Max Rabiee
- Fundamentals of Programmable Logic Controllers, Sensors, and Communications – Jon Stenerson
Purchase CD Tutorials
CD tutorials are expensive, but they are a worthwhile investment. They’ll keep you focused and provide visuals that are so important when learning about PLC.
Pay specific attention to the hardware and operations sections on the texts and on the CD in order to understand the fundamentals of PLC operations, wiring and hardware.
There are a number of sites online where you can download tutorials and practice the theory that you’ve learned. These tutorials will supplement the formal training and books that you read and give you a better understanding of this area of study.
At the start of your PLC training, you might have a hard time understanding the fundamentals, but once you fully grasp the basics everything else from there will become simple. The seemingly more complex aspects of PLC and Ladder Logics are all founded on the basic principles, so grasp the basics and everything else will be simple.
Once you’ve completed your course and received your certification, you’ll be ready to start your PLC career. You’ll probably need to work under the wings of a more experienced technician until you learn the ropes to manage a lot of the work on your own. The best part is that a lot of schools will provide some hands on experience, so you won’t be completely lost on your first day of work.
What training did you have when you started your career in PLC?