The development of microprocessor technology and storage technology is very rapid. They have more powerful functions and cheaper prices, and the developed microprocessors are more targeted. This provides a good environment for the development of programmable logic controllers. Most of the large-scale programmable logic controllers adopt a multi-CPU structure, and programmable logic controller system is constantly developing in the direction of high performance, high speed and large capacity.
Due to its cheap price, small size, lightweight, and low energy consumption, the micro programmable logic controller is very suitable for stand-alone automation. Its external wiring is simple, easy to implement or form a control system, and it is widely used in many control fields.
The programmable logic controller adopts a modular structure, which is convenient for use and maintenance. The intelligent I/O module itself is a small microcomputer system with strong information processing capabilities and control functions. Some modules can even form their own systems and work independently. They can complete the functions that the main CPU of the programmable logic controller is difficult to take into account, simplify the system design and programming in some control fields, and improve the adaptability and reliability of the programmable controller.
The programming software can configure the hardware configuration of the programmable logic controller system, that is, set the structure and parameters of the hardware, such as setting the model of the module on each slot of each frame, the parameters of the module, the parameters of each serial communication interface and so on. Ladder diagrams, instruction lists, function block diagrams and sequential function diagram programs can be directly generated and edited on the screen, and the mutual conversion of different programming languages can be realized. Programmable logic controller programming software has to debug and monitoring functions. It can display the on-off of the contacts and the energization of the coil in the ladder diagram, and it is very convenient to find the fault of the complex circuit. Historical data can be saved or printed, and remote programming and transmission can be realized through the network or modem card.
With the development of science and technology, many industrial control products have added intelligent control and communication functions, such as frequency converters, soft starters and so on. It can communicate with modern programmable logic controller modules to achieve more powerful control functions. Through twisted pair, coaxial cable or optical fiber networking, information can be transmitted to places tens of kilometres away, and it can communicate with computer devices in other parts of the world through Modem and the Internet.