best/quickest way to learn ab plc progamming


Thread Starter

john thorgrimson

I have used/programmed sage equipment and the controllers they make and the spectra front end HMI stuff but have very limited AB experience. would like to come up to speed fast as possible anyone know of a good resource? thanks in advance.

Glenn Wilson, then follow the training links. Training is available on CD, on the internet or at a local A-B office. This stuff isn't free, but if you need it now, not in a semester or two, it's worth the investment. Perhaps your employer can be persuaded to pay for it up front or reimburse you later. You didn't mention what flavor you need. I recommend getting good with RSLogix 5000 which is used in ControlLogix PLC's. Along with that you'll need ControlNet and DeviceNet. RSView32 is a good companion HMI. Good luck.

It depends on your budget and ability to travel.

I have found the best way is to take one of the 4 or 5 day classes. There is no phone ringing off the hook. There is no one knocking on your door (or cubicle) bugging you with a question. You can focus on learnig.

But if you don't have the budget or approval to travel, then get yourself a starter kit. AB has them for the micrologix and control logix lines that I know of. The micrologix line is very cheap (as little at $250 for the ML1000 or $490 for the starter kit), but the ML's do not have floating point numbers and they can not be programmed online. The ControlLogix is their big controller and it has a big price tag.

Either way, you can't go wrong with starter kits. They bundle some hardware, the software, and cables needed to start programming. They often include input switch simulators that will let you test your logic.

My local AB sales reps (Border States Electric) often put on superb workshops that involve a one or two day hands-on instruction. Their last one indcluded a reduced price on MicroLogix starter kits. You can't beat that with a stick!

But before you buy a starter kit, look into whether the software and hardware will do what you need. Different families of AB hardware platforms use different versions of RSLogix. RSLogix5 and 500 (used by PLC5 and SLC500/MicroLogix) are similar enough to learn one and be able to use the other. RSLogix5000 (used by ControlLogix, CompactLogix, and FlexLogix) is another ball game. The instructions are pretty much the same, but the memory structure is completely different. You may not want to put a lot of effort into learning with a MicroLogix starter kit if you need to implement a ControlLogix solution).

You happened to ask about my favorite company so I rattled on and on. I hope this helped. Here are some starter kit part numbers:

MicroLogix 1000 Starter Pak 1761-L16BWA-R1E
MicroLogix 1200 Starter Pak 1762-START1200E
MicroLogix 1500 Starter Pak (LSP processor) 1764-START1500E
MicroLogix 1500 Starter Pak (LRP processor) 1764-START1500RE
ControlLogix Starter Kit 1756-STRT1
ControlLogix Motion Starter Kit (requires 1756-STRT1) 1756-STRT2

Have Fun!

Chip Hinde
Los Alamos National Laboratory
agree with what has already been said, the differences between the control logix and the slc/plc families is different enough that you need to decide which one you are going to base your designs on. I have used them both and if you are just doing discrete I/O apps then the slc is fine. If you need to integrate motion control go with the control logix as you can program your own motion with ladder logic. you will get some opposite views about the quality of the motion control but if you are not using it in a high speed enviroment it works fine. it is also the choice for implementing ethernet & control net.

Gary Withrow

I just got back from a training facility in Corvalis Oregon called INTERTECH. They teach customized courses in Modicon Software/Hardware, Allen Bradley Hardware/Software, and others. I was there to learn controlnet with the PLC5
and have nothing but good things to say about them. It is reletively inexpensive compared to other training. Contact them at:
800 248-0988. They are also on the Web at "": or [email protected]