Tomaž Furlan (2010) Programmable logic controller. EngD thesis.
Programmable logic controllers (PLC) have been dominating the industrial automation and control area for about fourty years. As a proven concept, they continue to strenghten their silent presence in our everyday lives as parts of machine control, lights and ventilation controlling systems in buildings, etc. At the same time, microcontroller systems and development boards are becoming more and more available to the hobbyists nowadays. It's no suprise that leaping the gap between these concepts is increasingly becoming an appealing challenge for computer and electrical enthusiasts. In this thesis, we describe a design and development of a simple AVR-based PLC and a simple PC-based development environment that has also been developed for it. We start with a brief introduction of PLC basics and expose similarities with the popular computing platform Arduino. We also suggest a possible idea for a PLC realization inside the Arduino concept. In the main part, we discuss the hardware part and firmware implementation, followed by the discussion of the development environment for this controller and the implementation of the graphical language it supports. At the end, we present an application of the controller on a simplified real-life example of controlling the heating of a building and maintaining the desired temperature in a room.
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