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Technology and Industrial Automation Lab

1. Objective

Understand the concept of an industrial controller (PLC) and its operation.

2. Achievement

The student understands the digital I/O communication method between the PLC and
peripherical devices. Configures the PLC in order to operate according to the system needs.

3. Theorical Background


A programmable logic controller (PLC) is an industrial solid-state computer that monitors

inputs and outputs, and makes logic-based decisions for automated processes or machines.

PLCs are robust and can survive harsh conditions including severe heat, cold, dust, and
extreme moisture. Their programming language is easily understood, so they can be
programmed without much difficulty. PLCs are modular so they can be plugged into various

PLC Hardware Components

A central processing unit (CPU) serves as the brain of the PLC. It is a -16 or -32 bit
microprocessor consisting of a memory chip and integrated circuits for control logic,
monitoring, and communicating. The CPU directs the PLC to execute control instructions,
communicate with other devices, carry out logic and arithmetic operations, and perform
internal diagnostics. The CPU runs memory routines, constantly checking the PLC (PLC
controller is redundant) to avoid programming errors and ensure the memory is undamaged.

PLCs work with inputs, outputs, a power supply, and external programming devices.
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PLCs read signals from different sensors and input devices. These input devices can be
keyboards, switches, or sensors. Inputs can be either in digital or analog form. Robots and
visual systems are intelligent devices that can send signals to PLC input modules. Output
devices such as motors and solenoid valves complete the automated system.

PLC Programming Language

Five programming languages are used in PLCs. They are defined by the international standard
IEC 61131.

Ladder logic is one of the most commonly used PLC languages. In it, symbols represent
opening and closing relays, counters, timers, shift registers, and mathematical operations.
The symbols are arranged into the desired program routine. Rules in ladder logic are termed
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rungs. Each rung has a single output, but a single input can be found in more than one


Another programming language is function block diagram (FBD). It describes functions

between input and output variables. The function, represented by blocks, connects input and
output variables. FBD is useful in depicting algorithms and logic from interconnected controls

Structured Text (ST) is a high-level language that uses sentence commands. In ST,
programmers can use if/then/else, SQRT, or repeat/until statements to create programs.


Instruction list (IL) is a low-level language with functions and variables defined by a simple
list. Program control is done by jump instructions and sub-routines with optional parameters
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Sequential Function Chart (SFC) language is a method of programming complex control

systems. It uses basic building blocks that run their own sub-routines. Program files are
written in other programming languages. SFC divides large and complicated programming
tasks into smaller and more manageable tasks.


4. Procedure
Technology and Industrial Automation Lab

1. Run the Simatic Manager

2. Cancel the New Project Assistant, and create a New Project

3. Assign a name to the Project. The path where the projects are saved is
C:\Program Files (x86)\Siemens\Step7\s7proj.

4. From menu labels (or right click with the mouse): Insertar/Equipo/SIMATIC
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5. Open the left side tree and select HARDWARE with double click.

6. Right click on insertar, simatic 300, bastidor, perfil soporte, to start the
hardware configuration of the PLC.

7. The first window shows the virtual rack where the PLC modules should be
inserted. The first slot is for the 24VDC power supply. The CPU should be
inserted in the second slot. On la right side tree, select the CPU model and
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version, and drag it to the second slot. (314C-2 PN/DP, nmero de serie 6ES7
314-6EH04-0AB0, V3.3;)

8. Change the PLC IP address according to the next table.

Estation IP
Handling processing
Handling sorting
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9. Change the start address of digital inputs and outputs DI24/DO16 to 0.

10. Press Save and Compile (Guardar y compilar)

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11. Close the Hardware Configuration window

12. Test the hardware configuration downloading it to the PLC. Select the
root on the right side tree and press download button.

13. Test the communication by adding a variable table. Right click, insert,
variable table.

14. Create a range of Inputs and Outputs (Insert/Area)

Depending on the software language configuration, inputs could be showed as

E for German and I for English, outputs are A in German and Q in English.
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15. Save the variable table (diskette icon) and monitor the variables state
online (glasses icon).

5. Evaluation

Attendance to lab session 5 4 pts

Attendance to lab session 6 3 pts
Written assessment 6 pts
Written report 7 pts
Total 20 pts