Introduction to PLC Programming and Implementation (10)

Highlight the sections of the circuit in Figure 15 that will be under the control of a PLC MCR. What additional measures must be taken to include or bypass other hardwired circuits within the MCR fence?

Figure 16 highlights the circuits that must be fenced under the MCR instruction. Note that solenoid SOL1 and part of its driving logic are not included in the MCR fencing because SOL1, CR3, and TDR1 can also be turned ON by logic prior to the MCR fence (see Figure 17).

For the MCR fence to be properly programmed, the PLC program must include two internal control relays that take SOL1 out of the fence. Figure 18 illustrates the fenced circuit with the additional internals (CR1000 and CR1001). Note that the instructions in this diagram have the same names as in the hardwired circuit. The solenoid SOL1 will be outside of the MCR fence because it can be turned ON by either the outside logic (highlighted section in Figure 17) or the logic inside the MCR fence (highlighted section in Figure 18).

Bidirectional Power Flow. The circuit in Figure 19 illustrates another condition that can cause programming problems: the possibility of bidirectional power flow through the normally closed CR4 contact in line 8. To solve the bidirectional flow problem, the programmer must know whether or not CR4 influences the two output rungs to which it is connected. These rungs are the CR3 control relay output and the solenoid SOL1 output (rungs 7 and 9, respectively). Figure 19 illustrates the two paths that can occur in the hardwired circuit. PLCs only allow forward paths; therefore, if a reverse path is necessary for this circuit’s logic, the CR4 contact must be included in the logic driving the CR3 output (see Figure 9b).

Instantaneous Timer Contacts. The electromechanical circuit shown in Figure 15 specifies an instantaneous timer contact (the normally open TDR1 contact in line 10). This type of contact, however, is usually unavailable in PLCs. To implement an instantaneous timer contact (i.e., a contact that closes or opens once the timer is enabled), the programmer must use an internal output to trap the timer, then use the internal’s contact as an instantaneous contact to drive the timer’s logic.
In the electromechanical circuit in Figure 20a, if PB1 and LS1 both close, the timer will start timing and the instantaneous contact (TMR1-1) will close, thus sealing PB1. If PB1 is released (OFF), the timer will continue to time because the circuit is sealed. Figure 20b illustrates the technique for trapping a timer. In this PLC program, an internal output traps the instantaneous contact from the circuit’s electromechanical timer. Thus, the contacts from this internal drive the timer. If a trap does not exist, the timer will start timing when PB1 and LS1 both close, but will stop timing as soon as PB1 is released.

Complicated Logic Rungs. When a logic rung is very confusing, the best programming procedure is to isolate it from the other rungs. Then, reconstruct all of the possible logic paths from right to left, starting at the output and ending at the beginning of the rung. If a section of a rung, like the one discussed in Example 3, directly connects or interacts with another rung, it may be easier to create an internal output at the point where the two rungs cross. Then, use the internal output to drive the rest of the logic. For the circuit shown in Figure 15, this cross point is in line 9 at the normally closed contact CR4 between normally open LS1 and normally closed CR3.


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