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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just a little background info... I'm a maintenance electrician working for a small Rocktenn facility in PA. I just graduated a tech school and earned my associates degree in February, and found my best class to be PLC's. I've already taken over the PLC duties at my plant (basic programming with Logix 5000 controllers) and would like to get into a Rockwell type of place as a programmer. The problem is the guys who work as programmers usually have lots of experience with the more complicated types of programs,which I unfortunately don't get to mess around with at my plant. I guess my question is, does anybody have advice on any relatively cheap online classes that can help to get me the experience with the more advanced programming?
 

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Just a little background info... I'm a maintenance electrician working for a small Rocktenn facility in PA. I just graduated a tech school and earned my associates degree in February, and found my best class to be PLC's. I've already taken over the PLC duties at my plant (basic programming with Logix 5000 controllers) and would like to get into a Rockwell type of place as a programmer. The problem is the guys who work as programmers usually have lots of experience with the more complicated types of programs,which I unfortunately don't get to mess around with at my plant. I guess my question is, does anybody have advice on any relatively cheap online classes that can help to get me the experience with the more advanced programming?
Congratulations on graduating school:thumbsup:

Read every book you can find on the topic, and read this forum too, those guys are good http://www.plctalk.net/qanda/forumdisplay.php?f=2
 

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automationdirect.com sells a very inexpensive "Click" PLC system and HMI's. Programming software is free for both. Check with your local small companies that might contract with you to do small PLC conversions. It's not AB stuff but its good to start on. Lots of small companies can't afford AB products nor do they wan't to pay the AB prices for programming software.
 

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Welcome to the machine

My suggestion is for you to seek employment with an automation vendor that brings equipment to your manufacturing facility, (as well as other industries)

Automation Vendors know and deploy the newest technologies.

Manufacturing locations toil against the same problems daily.

You can take your knowledge and passion of real-world experience, and have fun meeting new challenges, learning all different things as a vendor.

Best regards to you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info guys, I'm definitely looking forward to getting more involved with the automation industry. Thought I would like maintenance but changing broken parts isn't as interesting as doing programs and new installs
 

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My experience is similar to what your trying to do. I knew that I always wanted to work in the PLC automation field, but I didn't have the experience. I'm completely self taught and have never had any formal education in PLC programming or automation.

When I first started at the plant I was just a temp hire, but I never missed an opportunity to learn what was going on with the PLC guys. I would hang with them and anything they needed I would offer to fix it or look into it. If there was something I didn't understand that they were talking about I would go home and look up that night so that I knew what they were talking about the next day. I also bought the logic pro simulator and started working with that. I think it took me two weeks to get the garage door simulator working, but I learned a lot and never gave up.

Another thing that I did which was very helpful once I got a little more comfortable was I would try to recreate some of the programs that we had at the plant on Logix Pro. For example we had a 4 pump sequencer panel where you could select the order in which the pumps would start. I re created at home so I could learn how they work.

Fast forward a few years and now I am a permanent employee and one of the main programmers and I love every minute of it. All I can tell you is if you want something bad enough find a way to make it happen and never give up.

Try to get in with the engineers or whoever dictates who does the programming and see if they will let you help with some of the simpler changes or programming that needs to be done.

Good Luck!


PS:
Take a look at this free pdf book. Its helpful in learning how to design logic on PLC's

http://claymore.engineer.gvsu.edu/~jackh/books/plcs/pdf/plcbook5_1.pdf
 

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Electron Factory.Worker
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Definitely going to buy the logix pro. The logix pro is only for the logix 500 controllers correct?
Yes, but 5000 has a similar feel and for learning the basics of logic programming its the same no matter what you're using. The main dofference is that 5000 uses a tag system instead of hard memory addresses which makes it easier.

I used logix pro and then read AB's guide on the tag system and the transition was pretty seamless.
 

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Definitely going to buy the logix pro. The logix pro is only for the logix 500 controllers correct?
If you practice on the logic pro and really put the effort into it you can program AB's after enough practice with the logix.

I suggest you buy every cheap PLC you can afford and build a trainer for every one. There are small differences between every plc and being able to transition between all of them smoothly will make you a better PLC programmer.

At least that is what I am doing. I am building a PLC trainer for every one my employer gives me. :whistling2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have built my own littles micrologix 1000 trainer, but haven't had anything to really practice programming on... We have some mitsubishis and Siemens processors where I work, maybe once we get done with our current robot install project I will be able to build a training board for those processors
 

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ICPDAS-USA also has low end PLCs and PACs. Many are programmable in C which opens many doors in the automation arena. PACs offer many features that PLCs themselves do not. So I suggest learning how to program them as well.
Another group is Linux based which some operations are going to.
If you would like more information just contact me via PM.
 
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