Equipping an Industrial Control Systems Lab


Thread Starter


Dear friends,

I'm looking for good brands and models of PLCs to equip a cybersecurity ICS lab for my University. We're planning to conduct classes from introduction to SCADA to PLC pen testing. I would like to have the most common brands and types of PLCs (Siemens, Allen Bradley, Modicon etc) available for the students, but also some combination that is still affordable! :)

I know that PLCs prices varies a lot. Sometimes the PLC is cheap, but the software package is extremely expensive. That's why I'm asking y'all's help. What would be the best PLC set for a lab in your opinion? I don't want to constrain myself to only one specific brand and model. Variety will be good.

Thiago Alves
It sounds like you already know the major manufacturers, so why not go ahead and call them for quotes?
Dear Thiago,

I have used automation direct in several applications, mostly in lab and for automated test equipment. The great advantage about them is some of their PLC product lines have free software/License (Direct logic series) and other's licences and software packages are inexpensive (e.g. $100-$150 range with free online documentation).

If your application is sophisticated and require high response / calculation power, I would recommend their productivity family which is a "BEAST" and easy to program (task/project base)! We are using that PLC to run a whole Painting line in our facility and it is extremely powerful. Have a look at their website as they have several more information including video and sample programs in their product archive.


Let me know if I can help you with any further information.