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Easiest PLC to program?

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What is the easiest PLC to program?

A very common question by those just starting out is "What is the easiest PLC to program?" Below is my answer to that common question....


Because my job for the last 20+ years has been training maintenance and engineers on PLCs, I may be able to offer a unique perspective to this question. Both in my own personal experience with many brands of PLCs and delivering PLC training to those from many walks of life, my experience has shown Rockwell ™ and directsoft ™ are the easiest plcs to learn on.


Side note: the answer to the question "what is the easiest plc to program?" varies depending on who you ask, for a couple primary reasons.


I ran into a great example of both reasons in an online conversation the other day. Most were replying to the 'easiest PLC to program' question with Rockwell over Siemens. Then one person side stepped the question with a reply, 'but Rockwell can not do what Siemens can'. In further discussion with that individual, I found in his examples, he just did not know how to perform the same task in a Rockwell/AB PLC, that he knew how to in a Siemens PLC. As the discussion went on, I found he was also comparing a Siemens PAC to a Rockwell PLC, not to a Rockwell PAC.


Of course an industrial computer (PAC - dual full processors to multi-task) is going to be more capable and more difficult to learn than a learning to program a microprocessor (PLC - single scan cycle/task). Just as a computer (dual processors) will be more difficult to learn than a calculator (microprocessor). Which also demonstrates the importance to know the difference between the two.


TIP: Master the PLC before moving on to learning the PAC.


The video below will introduce you to some key differences between PLC and PAC so you can better understand the programming and architectural differences between a PLC and a PAC. It also demonstrated the greater amount of knowledge, complexity and therefore learning time needed to work safely and reliability with PACs.




To give readers here a more accurate answer to the question "what is the easiest plc to program? ".  I ask the question only to  those well versed in plcs, and i ask the question a little differently...


What is the easiest plc to program and how many brands you are experienced with?

About the author:
don fitchett is president of business industrial network (bin), an industrial training company specializing in PLC training. Don has held that position for over 20 years and has been in the industrial training industry for over 28 years.