Although you learned best practices in writing a safe and reliable PLC program in the PLC training foundation phase, you will want to move on to more PLC programming training. While most will guess, you learn more about PLC programming by doing real PLC programming projects, that can be a slow (and costly when mistakes are made) process. A little bit quicker and less risky method of gaining experience in PLC programming can be by learning through experimentation by writing programs on a training PLC and/or with a PLC simulation software like the one we recommend below. But even this has its limits as to how far you can go.
Another method of learning PLC programming that should be part of any best practice PLC programming objective is to read and study existing programs of real processes. But before you do, learn best practices detailed in the GAMP®5 guide, study 21 CFR Part 11 and IEC 25010 paying special attention to maintainability quality. Then as you study PLC programs written by others, perform a static analysis (verification testing) on their programs as that process will greatly improve your PLC programming skills. Like the PLC ladder logic example we link to below, the more PLC programs you study, the more you will start to see common programming methods and best practices. Similar to the method of a teacher becoming a professor by studying more books. Books are knowledge gained by the author, and working with PLC programs are knowledge gained by other PLC programmers. You will no doubt see things in the PLC programs written by others that you previously learned are not best practices, but you will also learn some new methods and best practices for accomplishing real-world tasks.
[Book mark this page because soon we will start to add PLC programming training videos that share more best practices.]
PLC programming best practices
Study real world programs
We have color coded this entire site based on Occupational titles to help you decide what PLC training is most needed based on your relative occupation.
Recommended PLC training path by occupation...
- Industrial Electrician
- Industrial Engineer
- Commercial Electrician
- Instrumentation Tech
- Industrial IT
- Maintenance Manager
- Mechatronics Tech
- Software Programmer
PLC Programming Resources:
PLC Programming Articles:
- Siemens PLC Programming Examples
- Steps before a PLC program is written - modes, cycles and sequences.
- PLC Programming GAMP 5 Validation