Automation of Pneumatic system using PLC.

Updated: Jul 14

In this segment of blog we will see how a PLC(programmable logic controller) is used to automate a pneumatic system.


Let's first see what a PLC is in brief,

PLC's are digital computers which are mainly used in industries or robots to automate processes, it is used to control manufacturing processes. It replaced the old hard wired technique of programming for automation. PLC's are more reliable and one more benefit of PLC is we don't need to change circuits even if we need some change in process.



Fig. 1: PLC


Use of PLC in Pneumatic Automation

Pneumatic is also used for automation of various industrial processes, and the problem with mechanical and electro-pneumatic is they are hard wired, if we need small change in process than the whole circuit is required to be changed, but by using PLC we can eliminate that hustle.



Fig. 2: Illustration of a PLC based pneumatic system


PLC based pneumatic or electro-pneumatic is based on ladder program design. So to perform a certain task we need to connect the electronic based sensors in the system and further these sensors are connected to PLC. PLC gives instructions based on program feeded to it and then the system performs the task. Now let us understand how it is different from electro-pneumatic, in electro-pneumatic if we need to reverse the process we have to change the circuit but in PLC controlled system all we do is change the program and then upload it to the PLC board. We don't need to change circuit to change the processes. Also in PLC we do not need addition sensor for time monitoring, it is inbuilt feature of it. In PLC their are analog and digital pins which allows user to send data in digital or analog for according to need.


PLC based automation is very similar to electro-pneumatic, the only difference is in electro-pneumatic, electric switches are used for signaling purpose, while in PLC based pneumatic we use ladder programming for performing tasks.


Total Integrated Automation(TIA) is one of the software which is used for programming of PLC.



Image credits:

1. Siemens

2. Festo


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