Good PLC for a reasonable price


Thread Starter

The Curly One

I am currently using the GE Fanuc PLC with a Quickpanel touch screen. It works quite well but is very expensive in a competitive market. I would like something lower cost and less easy to program. I have very little experience with the PLCs and want something that can handle about 6 inputs and several timed functions.

I think the Seimens logo 100 would work, any suggestions or ideas?

Thanks in advance,
If you are just getting into plc, the best out there is Allen-Bradley, the support that AB has is just wonderful. I'm just a one man operation, I would waste my time with any other vendor, very reiable, sure not the cheapest, very easy to learn the programming. AB has any range of plc you need for any applications. The pico, micrologix, SLC, Contrologix, Compactlogix. The logix platform is most advanced out there but, very user friendly, it's more user friendly then the SLC software. try it you'll like it.
The LOGO is definitely a powerful unit for its cost. We've used it on many applications. Especially with the new ver 4 firmware. Its has much more memory. Plus you get 10 short message display with it. Basic unit has 8 input and 4 relay out. You can expand this to 24in and 16 out with add-on modules.
I use

Probably the DL05, DL06 or DL105 series would work with an EZ-Touch Panel.

Also, you can test out They have a combined PLC-HMI in one package. I am not sure at what cost, I've never used it.

Check it out.

Bob Peterson

Depends on what part of the world you are in and just what you need. Even AB stuff can be pretty economical with the right discount schedule. Don't make the mistake of comparing list price to list price.

With so few I/O do you really need a display at all? Maybe one of the intelligent relays would work for you. Maybe you don't even really need a PLC at all if you put in a little thought.

Perhaps you could give us some more information to go on like what part of the world you are in and what your cost constraints are and what capabilities you need. Those would all go a long way towards giving you better advice.


Nice plug for exactly the opposite of what the original post was asking. You even state "sure not the cheapest". I would carry that forward to probably the most expensive. Since the O/P stated "lower cost and less easy to program", your post pretty much contradicts the original question in every way.

My personal favorite is Omron, for many technical and suport reasons that vastly surpass AB. However, they are again not very low cost, and therefore I would not recommend them for the use described.

Look into PLC-Direct or Koyo (actually the same thing). They seem to go after the low cost market. I have never used them, but I hear that they function well....

--Joe Jansen
Where I'm at, we sell a lot of reman PLC. A LARGE majority of the plants and facilities you walk in to are running Allen Bradley. There are many Modicon 984 units still around. You can still pick up VERY good systems at half the cost of new, and much of your operational information exists on the internet. Take a good look at what your requirements are, and what you're trying to do. We may be able to help you put together a system.
Hope this was some help.

[email protected]
Try out

They have great plcs, hmis, etc at great prices.
There software is windows based and reasonably priced.

good luck

this plc is compatible with siemens s7-300 family, is programable with Step7 (very easy to learn the programming) or WINPLC from VIPA, and powerful. Ask for System 100 from VIPA (compact family).

marc sinclair

Unless you need high res. graphics - for six inputs and some timers - yes the LOGO! sounds ideal - try a starter kit for around 160 Euros which includes a LOGO!, manuals, leads, pc programming software ( a java program which runs under linux or microsoft windows) a pretty screwdriver and a box to keep it all in -

marc sinclair
> Nice plug for exactly the opposite of what the original post was asking.
> You even state "sure not the cheapest". I would carry that forward to
> probably the most expensive. Since the O/P stated "lower cost and less
> easy to program", your post pretty much contradicts the original question
> in every way.

maybe the hardware is not the "cheapest" but hardware cost is a small part of the cost of most systems these days. I often find that engineering time is 2-3 times what the hardware cost is.
Thank you for all of the answers. I did make a mistake when I asked for one less easy to program. I hope you understood what I meant. I am trying to find prices and then someone to write the programs for me soon.
I do have another question, What about vibration on the PLCs? How durable are they?


Steve Myres, PE

If you want someone to provide a turnkey solution for you, hardware, software, complete and tested, or any of those services separately, give me a call.

Making automated machines work or work better is what I do.

Steve Myres, PE
Automation Solutions
(480) 813-1145
[email protected]

Emery Premeaux

It would also be helpfull to know what you mean by "less expensive" as in about how much?

I realize this isnt exactly cheap, but Mitsubishi has a great introduction program. Their FX series has a package deal for first time purchases. Get a cable, software and the plc. Base price is about 500 american for a FIRST purchase.. the software and cable can be used on anything in their line.. and the cable alone is retail 200 about.. software is insane price.. so its a great deal in that respect.

Other than that, I would suggest EBAY. I got a FX80MR for about $70 dollars. moderate power, lots of IO.. hundreds of built in functions. retail for well over 500 new. But no cable or software :/
I sell Breathing Air compressors. I need the controller to handle several basic functions such as automatic moisture drains on a timer, and several basic No or NC inputs. The program that I am trying to do now is a very basic low cost entry level type PLC program. This is for my lower cost units. I have a very nice system for the top of the line units.

The PLC must have timer function and about 4 inputs and outputs. It must also be durable enough to handle minor vibration.

I want one that is easy to program or better yet easy to find someone to program it for me. It also needs to be one that will not lose its memory or program if it is left unplugged for 60 to 90 days or more.

Sorry that I do not know enough about PLCs to give you better information to make your suggestions from.


Jerry Slover / Pres.

We have extensive experience in PLC programming for R & D, specialty, production and automated prototype machinery. It is possible to purchase a reliable PLC w/ minimal I/O. We can help you. Give me a call or drop me an email.

Gemini Automation, Inc.
Look at the Omron ZEN unit. Offers various I/O options but as a minimum, 6 in 4 relay out.

Is NOT a true PLC so a very cheap price ($150-200) is programmed in ladder so easy to use and can be programmed with or without software.

We have running on hundreds of apps from conveyors to pump stations to compressors etc.

Built as durable as a PLC so should handle a rough ride.