A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an automated computer that controls electromechanical processes. The program provides digital computers with stored programs in order to perform logical tasks. In order to program the PLC, technicians must be familiar with reading logic schematics; therefore, some training is needed to familiarize technicians with this specialized language. There are plenty of online, on-site and in-class training courses that technicians can take advantage of.
Assess your needs and decide who will receive training. For example, if you own a company, you may want to train several technicians, or perhaps you are just looking into training for yourself. Some companies offer online, on-site or in-class training. This will depend on your training needs, the amount of time you have for training and location, as well as budget.
Consult with PLC training companies such as Automation Training and Electrical Training USA. You may also be able to turn directly to the manufacturer for training. You may want to obtain quotes from different training options and decide which best fits your budget and needs. PLC manufacturers offer 30- to 60-hour training instruction, which can cost $1,000 or more. Training companies may offer classes at a significantly reduced price, but classes may be larger.
Take an online training course if you want to learn about the components on your own and on your own time. This can be useful for those who don’t have the luxury or budget to take time off for in-class or on-site training.
Ensure that you learn the basics of training. You will need to learn the components of the PLC system – where they are and how they work. You might also want to practice, which comes in handy in on-site training, where you can create and enter or debug a PLC program.