Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


Technologies and practices in industry are continuously evolving. In the 21st century, manufacturing has become more automated and computerized, and programmable logic controllers (PLCs) play a central role in automation in today’s world. Although fluid power offers distinctive advantages over other force/torque-generating technologies, its full potential can only be harnessed when it is combined with other technologies; among which electric control is the most important. In this project, an integrated electric control board will be developed. It consists of a relay ladder circuit unit and a PLC unit. The relay ladder circuit unit is comprised of selector switches, push-button switches, different types of relays, light indicators, and a DC power source. The PLC unit is composed of selector switches, push-button switches, light indicators, a MicroLogix controller, a computer, and a DC power source. The two units mentioned will share similar components wherever possible. The integrated electric control board is mounted with easy plug-in sockets and can easily be interfaced with pneumatic/hydraulic circuits. Both the relay ladder circuit unit and the PLC unit will be used to control the operation of the pneumatic/hydraulic power systems. The primary goal in building an integrated relay ladder logic control and PLC board is to provide students digestible knowledge by which relay ladder logic is used in automatic control through hands on learning which utilizes real devices and hard-wired connections. This learning device will greatly help students understand PLCs as ladder logic is the primary programming language used with PLCs. Many different relay ladder circuits and PLC ladder logic circuits will be presented and demonstrated to students to reinforce their understanding. After students understand the PLC ladder logic diagrams, they will be better equipped to learn and understand other PLC languages.