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Control Panel PLC's and PLC programming

A large control panel
A large control panel

PLC Programming Services

Central Controls has programmers with over 30 years experience working with all types of Programmable Logic Controller, and have the expertise to provide you with the full spectrum of programming services.

Based in Leicester, in the UK Midlands, we are ideally located to help where ever you are in the UK, or the rest of the world !

New programs
Modifications to existing programs
Migrating a program to a new PLC
Backup and Recovery
About PLC's

New PLC Programs

A programmer at work

In addition to providing complete bespoke control panels with integral PLC's, our dedicated controls team can assist you to configure and program a PLC in your own panel. We would work with you to turn your functional and operational requirements into a completed compiled automation package, uploaded and running on your PLC, and help to refine and tune this to meet your production needs.

From consultancy, component selection, project planning, programming and final handover, Central Controls Ltd can offer you total support for your automation needs.

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A Mitsubishi inverter

Modification/Expansion of existing PLC programs.

The world of business rarely stands still, and neither do automated production facilities. It is common to add new machines, expanding a production line or factory, and these often need to be integrated into existing control systems. Central Controls Ltd can assist in modifying existing PLC programs to integrate additional machinery or sensors to seamlessly link additional machinery into the overall system.

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PLC Migration

PLC's eventually become obsolete, and difficult to replace. If such a PLC becomes faulty, then it can have a significant impact on your production whilst a replacement is tracked down, or a new model is reprogrammed from scratch.

Central Controls Ltd can help you identify, source, and install a modern replacement for your legacy PLC's prior to any breakdowns, and recompile the old program to work in the new unit, extending the lifetime of your control systems indefinitely.

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A very old PLC
A very old PLC

Backup and Restore

A little known fact about older PLC's is that they contain an internal battery. This is responsible for maintaining the units memory, including the memory used to store the PLC program itself. If this 'battery' fails (as eventually they will), then the unit will 'forget' its program, and stop working. Even when the PLC is replaced, the program is still lost, and it would require expensive and time-consuming reprogramming. It could take weeks to 'reverse engineer' the software and restore production automation.

Central Controls LTD can help you backup this vital program onto a DVD or USB memory stick BEFORE the unit fails. The vital program can then be uploaded into the replacement PLC very rapidly, restoring production automation within days (or hours), rather than weeks.

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About Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC's)

A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a jargon term for a simple, miniature, rugged 'computer in a box', designed to manage the operation and automation of industrial machines. It can receive signs from sensors and control panel buttons, analyse them according to a pre-written computer program, and then respond by sending out control signals to turn on/off motors, relays, actuators, indicator lights and other devices.

An old-style relay bank 'PLC'
An old relay-logic control panel
(click to see large version)

Traditionally, this sort of thing was controlled by banks of 'hard-wired' relays, timers and contactors. The PLC has the advantage of greater sophistication, vastly reduced size, reliability (no moving parts to break down, immune to heat/cold/dust etc) and the ability to be 're-programmed' without the need to physically rewire and re-solder large numbers of relays etc.

PLC's where originally developed for the American car-making industry. Previously, when a new model of car was brought out, all of the 'hardwired' controllers on the assembly line had to be re-wired to accommodate the new car components and layout. This could involve thousands of mechanical timers, relays etc., and untold miles of cable. With the PLC, in contrast, it merely required a technician to 'upload' the new control program into the unit, and it would be ready to go, saving vast sums in time and money.

Subsequently, PLC's have been incorporated into almost every industrial mechanical process, and indeed, into domestic household equipment.

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