Fun Las Vegas PLC Examples
Unique automation design experience - PLC ladder logic and SCADA system via Las Vegas
Creative PLC programming solutions come from the PLC programmer having a diverse PLC programming background. It is a very unique design experience working in the entertainment industry, especially PLC programming in Las Vegas! Here we'll explore some PLC ladder logic examples from Las Vegas. From theme park rides, sports simulators, choreographed water and light shows, to theatrical productions and their PLC SCADA systems, the Las Vegas PLC programmer will better understand constant change.
Las Vegas Mirage Volcano Show (Another example of complex shows a PLC or PAC can control.)
Given the Las Vegas shows, amusement rides, water fountains and more, programmers and maintenance can get really involved in their Programmable Logic Controller jobs. Of course there are plenty of the common plc applications such as lighting controls, elevators, traffic control, car washes, etc. But what's more fun in Las Vegas is the less common PLC projects such as automated walkways, and PLC controlled machines washing the windows of skyscrapers. Las Vegas is also home to the latest automation innovations like Robot-bartenders. Robots serve drinks at the Tipsy Robot, which opened inside the Miracle Mile Shops next to Planet Hollywood Casino in Las Vegas.
Out of fear of hydraulic leakage, most stage effects in theatrical productions use variable-speed DC motors for their automated control solutions. Of course, with actors involved, safety PLC programming is incorporated. PID Loop programming for a smooth ride so actors can concentrate on acting. Also with precision motion control being a big demand, and the PAC having motion control built in, as well as higher level programming languages like Structured Text, the PAC (Process Automation Controller) will work well for the entertainment industry.
Also the PAC is great for automated control solutions demanding high speed like roller coasters. The technician will still deal with industry standards like Ethernet IEEE 1588 V2 communications, IEC 61131-3 motion & automation programming and high speed I/O. Modbus communications, EtherCAT, etc.
Production control takes on a whole new meaning on the Vegas strip. With PLCs controlling upper and lower stage machinery, from podium/platform control, lighting array automation, stage elevators, rotary platforms, to flexible coordinated winch control ranging from heavy scenery movements to flying actors. Automating stage controls in Las Vegas shows bring on new challenges you won't run into in the industrial automation and control sector, like noise control with fan-less servo motors, higher switching frequency in VFDs, etc. A wider range of communications protocols to integrate to the PLC and HMI. (The stage system integrator job may be more challenging than the typical industrial system integrator.) Higher safety standards like SIL 3/PLe standards and redundancy with so many people in close proximity to automation. Including dropping the fireproof safety curtain to protect audience should something go drastically wrong.
(Stage Control can take on a new meaning too. Where if PLC programming, it indicates a state machine programming technique, a program in one specific state/condition at any single point in time. Now you may be referring to actual stage control where actors are on the stage.) J
The PLC may control huge animatronic props like a dragon flying above stage in Siegfried and Roy's show in Las Vegas. Most people are familiar with the modular design required for amusement park equipment and control, but with multiple shows on the same stage and a relatively small area to work with, it is important with stage shows too. Given some stage's limit space, a car needed on stage may be folded in half, and then as automatically moved on to stage, unfold to full length. (Click on PLC example picture above to example full size.)
A great example of PLC automation control maximizing capacity of stage and providing quick changer over's. All kinds of scenarios you cannot imagine coming from only the processing and manufacturing application of PLCs. Also with hundreds of drives being used, PID loops are often controlled within the drives themselves to reduce the processor workload of the central stage PLC controller, and to free up some communication bandwidth. The PLC programmer deals with forward reversing motor control in both industries, but in the stage show and amusement ride entertainment industries, one might find anti-collision and anti-swing programming just as common.
See The Best 2018 Las Vegas Shows while there. See Blue Man Group's Las Vegas Show at Luxor Las Vegas, experience the views on the High Roller Ferris wheel, marvel at Penn & Teller, David Copperfield at the MGM Grand and much more. The week you will be there for our PLC training seminar ...
- Celine Dion, Caesars Palace - Coliseum 4/10 & 11(6:30pm)
- Jennifer Lopez, The Axis at Planet Hollywood 4/10 & 11 (8pm)
- Redneck Comedy Magic, Stratosphere (every night, 6pm)
A lot is free, like seeing the Mirage's volcano rumble to life, and the dancing waters of the Bellagio Fountains. PLC homework: Go see them and think about how they are programmed. Like a water fountain control program, you could give each pump/ spray nozzle and light a number relative to its real world position. Then using indirect addressing, you could turn on odd number, even, in numerical order, reverse order, every 4th device, etc. If pumps/lights are in a circle, it could be 3 o’clock, 6, etc.
Hope this article gave you extra insight into how fun PLC programming and designing automation control solutions for the entertainment industry can be. Sign up for one of our seminars today to get started in PLCs, or request a free quote for onsite PAC – PLC training so you and your company can greatly reduce downtime.
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