Featured Story

How to document a PLC program

Documentation for PLC programs exists externally and internally in several forms, so don't forget the specification and tag names

writing document nav

So, you have a PLC, and you need to program it to run an automated machine. If you want to be a programming hack, just sit down and start writing the ladder logic and debug it. While you may understand your methods, others won’t, at least not quickly. So, if you want to do it like the big integrators do, there are some things to focus on to ensure efficient development of PLC-based control systems.There is more to it than just writing the PLC program. The architecture of the program must first be defined, and, once written, it will need to be debugged, tested and accepted, often by different individuals. Outside of the program itself, this documentation includes a…

Full Story

Go-To Resources

Our latest issue: October 2019

CD1910 webcover tabletModified Motion: Significant upgrades to machinery improve cycle times. Read the issue.

State of Technology Report

CD1909 Motors Motion Drives II SOT tabletMotors, Motion & Drives: How to be gentle and accurate with linear motion, what you need to know about motor selection and more. Download now.

Voices: Real Answers

How do I visualize my vision application?

What are the critical techniques, functions or checklists I should know to choose the vision hardware and communication method?

By Mike Bacidore, editor in chief

A Control Design reader writes: I am working on the design of a large automated assembly line with many cells assembling small parts using advanced automation, robots and motion control, and I think machine vision is the key to success. In several of the machine cells, the plan is to use cameras to…

Full Story

Most Recent

  • Greater return on CNC

    By Dave Perkon, technical editor

    The resurgence of Spyder Manufacturing in Placentia, California, illustrates how the fate of a shop can be tied to its machine-tool investment decisions. It’s also the improbable story of how this second-generation company stumbled upon a business breakthrough: CNC that is intuitive and…

    Full Story
  • A real, smarter control system

    By Dave Perkon, technical editor

    What are we going to do with the technology, asked Peter J. Photos, Ph.D., chief scientist and executive vice president at Streamline Innovations at the 'The edge of glory: Building intelligent systems of the future—today' breakout session at the 2019 Ignition Community Conference (ICC) in…

    Full Story
  • RFID 2.0 keeps radio frequency alive and well in the controls industry

    By Rick Rice, contributing editor

    In an industry like automation, the fast-paced growth can sometimes leave great ideas in the rearview mirror on the highway of life. Much like the fashion industry, fads can lead certain developments into the mainstream and leave others at the starting gate. One technology that has been around for…

    Full Story
  • The basics of smart machines

    By Dave Perkon, technical editor

    Is a PLC smart? It's smart like a reptile, and it can reliably and robustly control the many things connected to it using its programmed functions. However, there are different levels of intelligence needed to keep automated machines, systems or critical parts operating. For smart machines, the PLC…

    Full Story
  • Crashing and smoking automation

    By Dave Perkon, technical editor

    As I read a news story on how India lost and found its Vikram Lander on the moon, I couldn't help thinking about some of the spectacular automation crashes and failures I've witnessed. Fortunately for India, it was not a total loss; its Chandrayaan-2 orbiter and its eight scientific instruments…

    Full Story
  • WAGO’s 40th anniversary and beyond

    WAGO is celebrating its 40-year anniversary on September 21, 2019. Much has happened over that time starting with a one-man operation and a lot of hard work. While some may think that all that’s needed is a great product or leading-edge technology, it’s more than that. It’s the people that…

    Full Story

Latest Products