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PLC Inputs Overview
PLC controlled systems have become the backbone of almost all industrial automation processes globally. A PLC collects data from field devices, processes it as pre-programmed, and passes it as output to another system. To accomplish this, PLCs are equipped with sophisticated electronic input modules (for collecting field data) and output modules (for providing important information to the field devices). The Input/Output modules form a fundamental part of the PLC system that connects the PLC's CPU, to the real world, or rather the machines/devices being controlled.

The data collected from the field devices are considered as the input to the PLC controller. Essentially, PLC systems comprise a variety of input modules to monitor real-world (machine) parameters or to receive discrete and/or analog input command signals from human interface devices, central control computers, or other PLCs. In addition to detecting the status of the input signals, input modules are also required to connect the PLC system to the field input devices.

The multiple inputs used in PLCs are broadly categorized as Analog and Digital inputs. Hence, Analog and Digital Input modules make up a major subsystem in all PLC systems, as they provide an interface between the CPU and the Output modules, as shown in the diagram below. This article is meant to familiarize you with the two major categories of PLC inputs and the difference between them.


 



PLC Inputs Overview
PLC controlled systems have become the backbone of almost all industrial automation processes globally. A PLC collects data from field devices, processes it as pre-programmed, and passes it as output to another system. To accomplish this, PLCs are equipped with sophisticated electronic input modules (for collecting field data) and output modules (for providing important information to the field devices). The Input/Output modules form a fundamental part of the PLC system that connects the PLC's CPU, to the real world, or rather the machines/devices being controlled.

The data collected from the field devices are considered as the input to the PLC controller. Essentially, PLC systems comprise a variety of input modules to monitor real-world (machine) parameters or to receive discrete and/or analog input command signals from human interface devices, central control computers, or other PLCs. In addition to detecting the status of the input signals, input modules are also required to connect the PLC system to the field input devices.

The multiple inputs used in PLCs are broadly categorized as Analog and Digital inputs. Hence, Analog and Digital Input modules make up a major subsystem in all PLC systems, as they provide an interface between the CPU and the Output modules, as shown in the diagram below. This article is meant to familiarize you with the two major categories of PLC inputs and the difference between them.


 

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