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Veets November 27th, 2017 01:35 PM

Where to start as a PLC NOOB!?
Hi all, noobie here to plctalk!

I currently work as a robot programmer/operator, I program a ABB IRC5.15 linishing/polishing robot and a CLOOS welding robot, I mainly create the programs using the pendant/controller as robot studio hasn't been fit for purpose.

I am due to move to a new company next week, as I would like to further my career and delve deeper into programming, the new company is a food manufacturer and they have employed me to optimise production by automating a lot of their processes as there is a lot of manual work going on there. I'm really excited to start the job and I want to give a good first impression.

In the interview I was told they are looking at getting a couple of robots at some point next year and quite soon machinery like palletisers, box cutters, conveyer belts etc which will need programming, safe guarding etc.

PLC programming will be required, my PLC knowledge is very basic and I only know what I have seen on the robots, but never had the opportunity to learn it properly, my question to you guys is.. is there any programs I can download with tutorials, or any good videos or articles etc? I have tried downloading GX developer as it was recommended by an engineer at work but I cannot find a version to download, ANY information is greatly appreciated, thanks!


Toine November 27th, 2017 01:47 PM

Welcome onboard James, wishing you an enjoyable and fruitful voyage on the PLCtalk ship.

We could recommend some tools or programming environments that are available for download, but in your situation I would recommend you look specifically for anything related to the PLC brand (or brands) used by your new employer.

Funny thing, some of us are in just the opposite of your position: we do PLC programming but have no experience with robots and would like to learn. Is there anything you could recommend from your point of view?

janner_10 November 27th, 2017 01:56 PM

I found Robot Studio to be quite good, if you are used to reading and creating programs in RAPID then PLC Structured Text is not a million miles away from this.

Ladder obviously less so, but generally this will be your bread and butter style.

Depending on what your new site has as the go-to PLC manufacturer will dictate what is best to play about with.

Do you know?

Veets November 27th, 2017 01:58 PM

Thanks for the quick reply Toine, i just want to have a better understanding of PLC programming in general, i think they may use a siemens PLC for a multi-head machine but i'm not sure, they have told me i will receive some training on new machinery.

Well i would certainly recommend the trial version of the ABB 5 series robot studio, its really simple to use, and can simulate robot programs.

Veets November 27th, 2017 02:08 PM

Yes, i create the programs in RAPID, I've not actually tried any PLC on robot studio though.
Unfortunately i don't know yet, he just said in the interview about safe guarding on one of the machines, and also one of the multi-heads uses siemens i think.

James Mcquade November 27th, 2017 02:21 PM

the first thing to do is to find out what their plc standard is.
if there is no standard, I would look around to see which plc the maintenance guys like the best and study that one.
I would also start standardizing on plc's and other components.

the food industry is a different animal than most realize, more rules.


gclshortt November 28th, 2017 08:00 AM

The above link may help you out with some of the basic items standard to most PLC programs.


Veets December 7th, 2017 09:24 AM

Thanks for the link Gary I will check it out today, I have started the job now and most of the plc is mitsubishi, and a couple use trio, some of the machines don't use plc and are run on relays and servos, to be honest I look at some of the machines and don't know much of what I'm looking at, like I said I'm used to RAPID programming on ABB and basic ladder logic, Does any one have an idea where I can download Mitsubishi gx developer? I'm learning a lot in this new job, my electoral knowledge is definitely letting me down though! Thanks for all the information guys!

jstolaruk December 7th, 2017 02:50 PM

You'll need your employer to purchase GX developer, its not a free download.

Veets December 7th, 2017 07:24 PM

Ok, is there not any trial versions available ?

Veets December 10th, 2017 03:10 AM

I have managed to get my self a copy of GX IEC Developer 7.04, will try find some tutorials to help me through, thanks for all help guys, and especially @gclshortt for the link to beginners guide, massive help.

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