Module 12: Programmable Logic Controllers


Nominal duration: 3 weeks (24 hours total time commitment)


This time commitment includes the preparation reading, attendance at each webinar (1 hour plus 15-30 minutes for discussion), and the time necessary to complete the assignments and further study.






A Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) is a digital computer used for the automation of electromechanical processes. Examples of such processes include machinery on factory assembly lines, or light fixtures. PLCs are used in many industrial applications. Unlike general-purpose computers, they are designed for multiple input and output (I/O) arrangements. They can withstand extreme temperatures, they are immune to electrical noise, and resistant to vibration and impact. Their control programs are typically stored in battery-backed or non-volatile memory. This module covers PLC hardware and programming techniques, including ladder logic, function blocks and sequential function chart as per IEC61131-3.






Module 8:    Digital Circuit Design

Module 11:  Programming Languages



To evaluate the achievement of the learning outcomes; written assignments, group projects and practical exercises are set.




1.   Select appropriate PLC for a given application


2.   Develop PLC programs



Learning Outcome 1


Assessment criteria


Select appropriate PLC for a given application


1.1.     Select a PLC for a given application, based on the      following as and when applicable:

     (a)   Footprint

     (b)   Requirements for embedding

     (c)   Cycle time

     (d)   Memory size

     (e)   Digital I/O requirements

     (f)    Analog I/O requirements

     (g)   Local vs. remote I/O

     (h)   Supported protocols

     (i)     Serial/networked data communications

Learning Outcome 2


Assessment criteria


Develop PLC programs


2.1.     Develop (write and simulate) a PLC program to control a traffic light, using ladder logic


2.2.     Upload the  program to an actual PLC (connected to a  traffic light model) and demonstrate its operation



Delivery Mode

A combination of asynchronous and synchronous e-learning delivery comprising a judicious mix of interactive online web conferencing, simulation (virtual labs) software, remote online labs, online videos, Power Points, notes, reading and study materials (in pdf, html and word format) accessed through the Moodle Learning Management System (LMS).

Software/Hardware Used


  • Codesys


  • Remote Lab