n South African Computer Journal - A software approach for automatic selection of programmable logic controllers - preliminary study




This paper presents a preliminary study of the design of a software-based tool that models PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) characteristics for automatic dimensioning and allocation in process control. The automation of an industrial process is invariably faced with the decision of the optimal resources for implementation. Therefore, it is important to find a way of selecting the most efficient programmable logic controller that is suitable to facilitate a particular control process. Variables such as the number of inputs or outputs, program memory size, data memory size, auxiliary memory, timers, and counters have to be given the requisite consideration. The undertaken method considers the use of ladder diagrams and XML representation in the process of modeling PLC characteristics which are organized in form of a database. Criteria for PLC selection are used to provide a list of PLCs or embedded controllers that best fits the control process envisioned. This approach can be used as a decision making tool by machine design companies, small manufacturing companies, and consultant engineers faced with the correct choice of PLCs to be deployed in a particular control project.


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