School of Distance Education

PLC Technician Certificate

The PLC Technician Certificate  program  provides a basic introduction to PLCs and is designed for people with little or no background in the area. The program`s curriculum provides a perfect way to get a quick start in the fundamentals of PLCs, incorporating traditional I/O based addressing which targets the Allen Bradly SLC 500 and RSLogix 500 hardware and software.  The PLC simulation software, PLC Logix 500, integrated within the program emulates the Rockwell (Allen-Bradley) Logix 500 series PLC control software. This simulation software which includes over 250 pre-built lab projects and ten interactive 3D animations or “3DWorlds” which emulate a wide range of manufacturing and service applications including; Bottling Line, Batch Mixer, Stationary and Moving Car Washes, Elevator Door, Single and Dual Compressors, Silo/Hopper and Traffic Lights.

 

Looking for more information?

Visit the Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) Technician Distance Education program website, or contact the Technical Training department at 416-415-4726, at info@gbctechtraining.com or by visiting their office (Casa Loma Campus, 160 Kendal Ave., Building C (CLC), Room C420).

Note(s)

Fees are $70 per module plus $370 for the USB drive (which includes all software and required materials). International applicants are charged the same fees but in US dollars (US$70 plus US$370); the posted exchange rate in effect at the time of your registration will be used to determine the final fee in Canadian dollars. Refunds will not be provided for the USB course materials. Telephone contact (tutorial assistance) is available (toll-free) at 1-866-279-1457 from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Career Opportunities

This certificate program prepares you to work in the rapidly expanding field of industrial automation and control. PLC technicians install and repair industrial electronic equipment (including input/output networks, data highways, variable speed drives and process control equipment) and write PLC programs for a wide variety of automated control systems, ranging from simple on–off controls to robotics. PLC technicians also find employment in the industrial engineering field where they are actively involved in the design and implementation of PLC control systems.

Prerequisite(s)

You must have a secondary school diploma (with credits at or above the general level) or an approved equivalent or have mature student status.

Technical Requirement(s)

You must have access to a personal computer with the following minimum configuration:

  • USB & Sound Card
  • Intel Pentium or equivalent
  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB recommended)
  • 250 MB available disk space
  • Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 8.1/Windows 10
  • 32 and 64 bit compatible
  • Internet Access
  • Email Account

Completion Details

You complete all the required modules (including lab projects, review exercises and tests) from the comfort of your own home using an interactive learning package. The package consists of a USB drive containing 19 modules, which are delivered using text, audio and animations. (A recommended reference textbook can also be purchased when you enrol.) This highly innovative certificate program features state-of-the-art PLC simulation. The interactive PLCLogix 500 simulation software essentially converts your computer into a virtual PLC and allows you to run, verify and debug ladder logic programs based on the Rockwell RSLogix 500 format. PLCLogix 500 allows you to familiarize yourself with many different features associated with Rockwell PLCs, including timers, counters, sequencers and math functions. Tests are taken online using computer-based testing. You may enrol in this certificate program at any time (continuous intake) and complete each module in your own time. The average completion time is 32 weeks of study, but there are no time limits.

 


Modules

This module provides a general overview of PLCs and their application in industry. The origins of the PLC and its evolution are covered in detail. The advantages of PLCs are also outlined, and the main components associated with PLC systems are explored. An introduction to ladder logic is presented and the most common types of PLC signals are covered with an emphasis on practical application

Learning Outcomes:

  • Describe the purpose of a control panel.
  • Define a programmable controller.
  • List six factors affecting the original design of programmable controllers.
  • Name three advantages of PLCs compared to relay logic systems.
  • List the three main components in a PLC system.
  • Understand the term ladder logic.
  • Describe the application of PLC signals.
  • Explain the difference between a bit and a word.

This course is intended to familiarize the student with the most important aspects of the PLC's central processing unit. Topics covered in the course include memory devices and memory storage, as well as an introduction to data storage and processing. In addition to covering memory utilization and memory mapping, the course also provides detailed information on multiprocessing and PLC scan functions.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Define the term CPU.
  • Explain the purpose of the executive program.
  • Understand the application of buses in a CPU.
  • List two types of CPU diagnostics.
  • Differentiate between fatal and non-fatal errors.
  • Explain the advantage of multiprocessing.
  • Describe the two general classes of memory devices.
  • Name four types of memory.
  • Define memory protect.
  • Explain the purpose of memory utilization and how it applies to PLC systems.
  • Describe the scan function.

This course covers all aspects of the Input/Output system for PLCs including discrete, analog, and data I/O. In addition, the course also presents an overview of I/O addressing and an introduction to Allen-Bradley I/O parameters. Course topics also include the principles of remote I/O and an introduction to scaling and resolution of analog devices and signals.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Explain the purpose of the I/O system
  • Describe how I/O addressing is accomplished.
  • Define discrete inputs.
  • List four tasks performed by an input module.
  • Describe the basic operation of a discrete output.
  • Explain the purpose of data I/O interfaces.
  • Define analog I/O.
  • Describe the resolution of an analog I/O module.
  • List three applications for advanced I/O.
  • Explain the purpose of remote I/O.

This course is intended to provide students with an overview of the wide range of programming terminals currently in use and to outline some of the key differences between them. In addition, the course covers topics such as hand-held programming terminals and computer-based software packages. The operation of host computer-based systems is also covered as well as the application of peripheral devices in a PLC network.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Define the term programming terminal.
  • Describe the application of dedicated programming terminals.
  • List the two types of programming terminals.
  • Describe the purpose of mini-programmers.
  • Define computer-based programming terminals.
  • Differentiate between programming software and documentation software.
  • Describe the function of a host computer-based PLC system.
  • Explain the purpose of peripheral devices.

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a thorough coverage of the various safety precautions, preventative maintenance, and troubleshooting techniques associated with a typical PLC system. In addition, the course also covers proper grounding techniques, sources of electrical interference, and I/O installation techniques. Field checkout and troubleshooting with an emphasis on practical troubleshooting and problem-solving strategies.

Learning Outcomes

  • List three safety precautions when installing PLC systems.
  • Define system layout.
  • List three safety measures for PLC installations in control panels.
  • Describe proper grounding techniques for PLCs.
  • Name three precautions to avoid electrical interference.
  • Define cross-talk interference.
  • Explain I/O installation.
  • Describe the need for I/O documentation.
  • Define leakage current and explain the purpose of bleeder resistors.
  • Explain the field checkout of PLC systems.
  • Provide periodic maintenance for a PLC system.
  • Troubleshoot PLCs.
  • Describe redundant PLC architecture.

This course is intended to provide an introduction to relay logic and relay logic diagrams. The basic operating principles of relays are presented as well as detailed information regarding sizing and rating of electromagnetic contactors. Seal-in circuits and their application in control systems is discussed as well as an introduction to timing circuits. In addition, the course covers I/O devices and their application in PLC systems.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Name three types of mechanical switches and three types of proximity switches.
  • Define inductive arcing and explain how it can be prevented.
  • Describe the basic operating principle of a control relay.
  • Explain the purpose of overload relays.
  • Define the term holding contact.
  • Differentiate between a control relay and a solenoid.
  • List three applications of rotary actuators.
  • Name three types of time-delay relays.
  • Define the term relay logic.

This course provides an introduction to ladder logic programming techniques using laboratory simulation software. The lab component of the course provides the student with an opportunity to write ladder logic programs and test their operation through PLC simulation. Topics covered in the course include I/O instructions, safety circuitry, programming restrictions, and I/O addressing.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Define ladder logic.
  • Explain the purpose of I/O addresses.
  • Describe the function of softwiring, branches, and rungs.
  • Write a ladder logic program.
  • Run a ladder logic program using lab simulator.
  • Define the terms examine on and examine off.
  • Explain the purpose of a latching relay instruction.
  • Differentiate between an internal output and an actual I/O output.
  • Describe the operation controller scan.
  • Name two programming restrictions.
  • Define nesting.
  • Explain why safety circuitry is important in ladder logic systems.
  • List three types of I/O addressing.

This course is intended to provide students with an overview of PLC timers and their application in industrial control circuits. Allen-Bradley timing functions such as TON, TOF, and RTO are discussed in detail and the theory is reinforced through lab projects using lab simulation software. In addition, students will learn practical programming techniques for timers including cascading and reciprocating timing circuits.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Name two types of relay logic timers.
  • List the four basic types of PLC timers.
  • Describe the function of a time-driven circuit.
  • Differentiate between an ON-delay and an OFF-delay instruction.
  • Write a ladder logic program using timers.
  • Describe the operating principle of retentive timers.
  • Explain the purpose of cascading timers.
  • Define reciprocating timers.

This course provides students with a broad overview of PLC counters and their application in control systems. Allen-Bradley counting functions such as CTU and CTD are presented in detail and the theory is reinforced through lab projects using lab simulation software. In addition, students will learn practical programming techniques for counters including cascading counters and combining counting and timing circuits.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Name two types of mechanical counters.
  • Define the two basic types of PLC counters.
  • Write a ladder logic program using CTU, CTD, and RES.
  • Explain the terms underflow and overflow.
  • Describe the function of an event-driven circuit.
  • Design an up/down counter.
  • Define cascading counters.
  • Explain the advantages of combining timers and counters.

This course is intended to provide an overview of various zone control techniques and branching instructions. The principles of Master Control Relays are presented with an emphasis on safety considerations and compliance with safety codes and regulations. In addition, the course also provides coverage of subroutines and their application and benefit in complex control problems. Force instructions are presented and demonstrated through lab simulation software. The simulation software also allows the student to program and observe branching operations.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Define master control relay.
  • Explain the purpose of a zone of control.
  • Describe the function of zone control latch.
  • Write a ladder logic program with a subroutine.
  • Describe the purpose of first failure annunciators.
  • Differentiate between a JSR and a JMP.
  • Explain the advantage of using subroutines.
  • Use the FORCE instruction for troubleshooting.

This course is designed to provide the student with a clear understanding of the purpose and application of PLC sequencers, both through the theory of operation and through the actual demonstration using lab simulation software. The course will familiarize the learner with masking techniques and the various types of sequencers available including SQO and SQC instructions. In addition, sequencers charts are presented with an emphasis on maintenance and recording of sequencer chart information.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Explain the operation of a mechanical drum controller.
  • Describe the basic function of a PLC sequencer.
  • Explain how time-driven sequencers operate.
  • Describe the operation of event-driven sequencers.
  • Derive a sequencer chart.
  • Define the term matrix.
  • Explain the purpose of masking.
  • List three types of sequencers.
  • Write a ladder logic program using SQO and SQC.

This course provides students with an introduction to the principles of data transfer, including bits, words, and files. Using lab simulation, various aspects of data transfer will be demonstrated and students will program and observe transfer instructions such as MOV. An introduction to shift registers is also presented with an emphasis on practical application in industrial control circuits.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of a move instruction.
  • List three basic types of registers.
  • Define the term sign bit.
  • Explain the operating characteristics of a register-to-register move.
  • Differentiate between a file-to-word and a word-to-file move.
  • Describe the purpose of a table-to-table move.
  • Explain the operation of a shift register.
  • Write a ladder logic program using MOV.
  • Transfer data between memory locations

This course provides an overview of basic mathematical functions found in typical PLCs. It also provides thorough coverage of data comparison instructions such as EQU, LES, and GRT. In addition, this course provides a foundation for more advanced programming techniques including analog input and output control. Topics such as combining math functions are presented with an emphasis on practical application and are demonstrated through lab simulation.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • List three types of data comparison.
  • Explain the Addition function.
  • Subtract two numbers using a PLC.
  • Multiply and divide two numbers.
  • Define the terms scaling and ramping.
  • Write a program using LES, GRT, EQU.
  • Use the Square Root instruction.
  • Write a program combining math functions.
  • Describe the purpose of LIM.

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with a thorough understanding of the various aspects of process control and its application to PLC systems. In addition to open-loop and closed-loop systems, the course also covers advanced closed loop techniques including PID control. Analog I/O devices are presented in detail and tuning parameters for PID control systems is demonstrated through practical examples.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Define the terms process, process variable, and controlled variable.
  • Name four applications for control systems.
  • Explain the advantage of using block diagrams.
  • Describe the function of the setpoint, error signal, and measured value.
  • Differentiate between open-loop control and closed-loop control.
  • List the five basic components in a closed-loop control system.
  • Name the four variables associated with closed-loop control systems.
  • Define dead time.
  • Explain the basic operating principles of On-Off and PID control.
  • Describe the purpose of feedforward control in process systems.
  • Define the terms algorithm and flowchart.
  • Explain the basic principle of fuzzy logic

This course is intended to provide the student with an introduction to networking using PLC systems and peripherals. The principles of data highways are discussed using windows platform and Allen-Bradley hardware and programming software. In addition, an introduction to ethernet and network switching is also presented as well as detailed descriptions of topology and the application of token passing in a data highway. The course also provides an overview of transmission media including fiber optic, coaxial, and twisted pair cable.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Define the term data highway.
  • Describe the term protocol as it applies to PLC systems.
  • Explain the principle of token passing.
  • Name two types of topology.
  • List four factors affecting transmission media.
  • Describe the two types of bandwidth used in data highway systems.
  • Define response time.
  • Explain proprietary networks.
  • Describe the purpose of Manufacturing Automation Protocol (MAP).
  • Name the seven MAP layers.
  • List three advantages of using Ethernet.
  • Explain the purpose of network switching.

This course is designed to provide the student with a thorough understanding of the various number systems used by PLCs and their application in industrial control. The course covers binary numbers and codes including BCD, Octal, and hexadecimal. In addition, the course also demonstrates through lab simulation how number systems are manipulated by the PLC's processor. Topics also covered in the course include negative binary numbers, parity bit, Gray code, and ASCII.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Explain the operation of the binary number system.
  • Express a negative number in binary form.
  • Differentiate between least-significant bit and most-significant bit.
  • Add and subtract binary numbers.
  • Multiply and divide binary numbers.
  • Convert binary numbers to decimal, and decimal numbers to binary.
  • Count using the octal number system.
  • Convert octal numbers to binary, and binary numbers to octal.
  • Explain the hexadecimal number system.
  • Write a program using number system conversion.
  • Convert hexadecimal numbers to binary, and binary numbers to hex.
  • Differentiate between natural binary and Binary Coded Decimal (BCD).
  • Describe the purpose of parity bit, Gray code, and ASCII code.

This course provides a thorough treatment of digital logic and its application in PLC programming and control. Boolean algebra and the theorems associated with it are presented and demonstrated through a series of programming examples. In addition, the student will become adept at converting digital logic to ladder logic and will apply DeMorgan's theorem to increase circuit efficiency and reduce redundency.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Apply truth tables to troubleshooting digital circuits.
  • List five logic gates.
  • Describe the basic operation of an inverter.
  • Explain the purpose of Boolean algebra.
  • Apply logic gate combinations to PLC control.
  • Convert digital logic to ladder logic.
  • Name eight Boolean theorems.
  • Apply DeMorgan's theorem to ladder logic circuits.

This module is designed to cover the fundamentals of Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) and Programmable Automation Controllers (PACs). The four types of connections used for interfacing with field devices are demonstrated, with an emphasis on practical application. A discussion of RTU architecture, communications and practical applications is presented. In addition, an overview of PACs and a comparison of PAC and RTU functionality is described and the differences between PLC and PACs are also highlighted. The main features of DNP3 protocols are introduced, and a discussion of alarm management and its application in RTUs and PACs is also included.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Differentiate between an RTU and a PAC.
  • List the four types of RTU connections for interfacing to field devices.
  • Identify 7 specifications for selecting an RTU.
  • Define the communications protocol DNP3.
  • Describe the layers of the Enhanced Performance Architecture.
  • Name four common uses for RTUs in industrial applications.
  • Explain the main differences between RTUs and PLCs.
  • Define Alarm Management and explain its use in RTU systems.
  • Identify the five components in an Intelligent Electronic Device.
  • Name three differences between PACs and PLCs.
  • List the five main characteristics of a PAC.

This module provides a general overview of automation systems and the role of automation in industry. It also covers the basic principles of flexible automation and flexible manufacturing systems. The advantages of automation are outlined, and the main components associated with automation systems are explored. An introduction to automation simulation is presented with an emphasis on practical application.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Define the term automation.
  • List three advantages of using automation systems.
  • Name six factors affecting the original design of PLCs.
  • Describe the role of automation in industry.
  • Define flexible automation.
  • Differentiate between economy of scale and economy of scope.
  • List three examples of continuous flow processes.
  • Describe the purpose of a flexible manufacturing system.
  • Explain the difference between DCS, RCS and CCS.
  • Define automation simulation and explain its advantages.